[MARMAM] Renewable energy and marine mammals

Witt, Matthew M.J.Witt at exeter.ac.uk
Thu Jan 5 08:49:30 PST 2012


Dear Marman list members,

The PRIMaRE Biodiversity Research team (www.primare.org) at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth have recently published work on developing methods towards understanding effects of renewable energy extraction upon marine biodiversity (abstract below). Among other things, the research paper looks at how it might be possible to describe marine mammal distributions around offshore renewable energy developments using archival technologies (such as C-Pods and broad-band sound recorders). If you would like a PDF copy of the research paper then please email me on: m.j.witt at exeter.ac.uk<mailto:m.j.witt at exeter.ac.uk>, alternatively you can download the PDF from here<http://www.people.ex.ac.uk/mjw205/Witt_2012_PhilTransRSocA>.

Assessing wave energy effects on biodiversity: the Wave Hub experience

BY M. J. WITT,  E. V. SHEEHAN, S. BEARHOP, A. C. BRODERICK, D. C. CONLEY, S. P. COTTERELL, E. CROW, W. J. GRECIAN, C. HALSBAND, D. J. HODGSON, P. HOSEGOOD, R. INGER, P. I. MILLER, D. W. SIMS, R. C. THOMPSON, K. VANSTAEN, S. C. VOTIER, M. J. ATTRILL AND B. J. GODLEY

Marine renewable energy installations harnessing energy from wind, wave and tidal resources are likely to become a large part of the future energy mix worldwide. The potential to gather energy from waves has recently seen increasing interest, with pilot developments in several nations. Although technology to harness wave energy lags behind that of wind and tidal generation, it has the potential to contribute significantly to energy production. As wave energy technology matures and becomes more widespread, it is likely to result in further transformation of our coastal seas. Such changes are accompanied by uncertainty regarding their impacts on biodiversity. To date, impacts have not been assessed, as wave energy converters have yet to be fully developed. Therefore, there is a pressing need to build a framework of understanding regarding the potential impacts of these technologies, underpinned by methodologies that are transferable and scalable across sites to facilitate formal meta-analysis. We first review the potential positive and negative effects of wave energy generation, and then, with specific reference to our work at the Wave Hub (a wave energy test site in southwest England, UK), we set out the methodological approaches needed to assess possible effects of wave energy on biodiversity. We highlight the need for national and international research clusters to accelerate the implementation of wave energy, within a coherent understanding of potential effects—both positive and negative.

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2012) 370, 502–529. doi:10.1098/rsta.2011.0265

Best wishes
Matthew

------------------------------------------------------
Dr Matthew J. Witt
Centre for Ecology & Conservation
University of Exeter
Tremough Campus
Penryn
Cornwall. TR10 9EZ
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