Protecting Marine Mammal Populations From Offshore Energy Developments

So the work that we're doing is trying to make sure that new offshore renewable developments are not going to adversely affect the wildlife populations around our coast particularly marine mammals So seals and dolphins rely very heavily on underwater sound and offshore wind farm construction involves lots of noise when they're pile driving so the problem is that the populations may be disturbed or indeed have their hearing damaged by wind farm construction

And we know something about the short-term responses of these animals to noise, but we don't know what the longer term consequences of that is for their populations We've been using our long-term studies of harbor seals and bottlenose dolphins in north east Scotland to better understand how those populations vary over time and then using that information to use models that will help government decide whether or not the wind farms will actually adversely affect those protected populations So, the work's been instrumental in allowing government to have the confidence that the wind farm construction that's been planned won't adversely affect these protected populations and so they've been able to consent those new developments within the conservation regulations in Europe and at the same time we've also been working with engineers to try and change the design of construction so that it would minimize any of these impacts of noise on these animals

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