[MARMAM] Request for megafauna entanglement records in thick cables, moorings etc.

Steven Benjamins stevenbenjamins at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 16 10:03:57 PDT 2013

Dear colleagues,

Marine renewable energy sources (offshore wind, but
increasingly tide and wave energy) are becoming increasingly attractive to
exploit in many parts of the world, particularly in the light of increasingly
stringent carbon reduction targets. There is, however, also a strong interest
in determining potential environmental risks of these new technologies. As part
of a consortium with the University of Exeter, the Scottish Association for
Marine Science (SAMS) is currently undertaking a government-commissioned review
of the potential for marine megafauna entanglement risk from renewable marine
energy developments. This includes assessing the risks of marine mammals,
basking sharks and marine turtles suffering injury or death due to entanglement
within moorings, interconnector cables etc. These cables are typically
considerably thicker (>5 cm) and stiffer than ropes and lines associated with
the fishing industry, and at first glance would appear to offer fewer obvious
means of entanglement. 

On behalf of my co-authors, I would hereby wish to
ask the MARMAM community if anyone has come across any evidence (incl.
anecdotal/grey literature) of marine mammals (or other megafauna) becoming
entangled in thick cables, chains or moorings such as those associated with the
offshore oil & gas sector, the aquaculture industry, or any other
non-fisheries-related sources (eg. pontoons, floating marinas or navigational
buoys). Any such records would help inform our assessment of the risks
associated with this emerging and highly diverse sector, at least in terms of
potential entanglement risks. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly via
email (at Steven.Benjamins at sams.ac.uk) if you wish to share any such records with us, or if you have further questions. Once our
review has been formally completed, a summary of our results will be provided
on MARMAM. Many thanks in advance for your assistance.

Yours truly,

Steven Benjamins

Dr. Steven Benjamins
Post Doctoral Research Associate
SAMS (Scottish Association for
Marine Science)
PA37 1QA

Tel: +44(0)1631-559449 (office)
Tel: +44(0)1631-559000
Fax: +44(0)1631-559001
E-mail address: Steven.Benjamins at sams.ac.uk
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