[MARMAM] New publication on EIA at marine renewable energy developments
ruth.leeney at gmail.com
Sat Jun 21 11:24:09 PDT 2014
Dear MARMAM subscribers,
The following paper has recently been published and may be of interest to
some marine mammal biologists contributing to Environmental Impact
Assessments, particularly for marine renewable energy developments.
R.H. Leeney, D. Greaves, D. Conley, A.M. O'Hagan. (2014) *Environmental
Impact Assessments for wave energy developments: Learning from existing
activities and informing future research priorities*. Ocean & Coastal
Management (published online). 9 pp.
Plans for Marine Renewable Energy Installations (MREI) are developing
worldwide, yet many questions still remain about the impacts such
developments may have on marine ecosystems and on coastal and oceanographic
processes. This uncertainty, combined with a lengthy and complex
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) phase prior to consent, has slowed
the growth of the marine renewables sector. Information on completed and
ongoing EIAs at MREI sites across Europe was summarised and compared
amongst sites and with completed, comprehensive EIAs for Horns Rev offshore
wind farm and the SeaGen tidal turbine site at Strangford Lough. This
allowed for the identification of commonalities and differences in
monitoring activities, and of data gaps in the wave energy EIA process.
Studies on the socio-economic impacts of MREIs were lacking, as were
monitoring of fish, fish habitats, electromagnetic fields and their impacts
on marine wildlife. Even amongst sites monitoring similar topics,
varied greatly. Science cannot inform the management of marine renewables
whilst there are inconsistencies in baseline and impact monitoring, as this
study has documented. A streamlined EIA process and collaborations between
researchers and developers are required to move the industry forward.
Ruth H. Leeney, PhD
Benguela Research & Training
Walvis Bay, Namibia
*The Protect Africa's Sawfishes project*
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