[MARMAM] NEW PUBLICATION: "Offshore construction using gravity-base foundations indicates no long-term impacts on dolphins and harbour porpoise"

Kelsey Potlock kmpotlock at gmail.com
Thu Jun 15 13:15:55 PDT 2023


Dear MARMAM community,

I am extremely happy to share with you our new publication in *Marine
Biology*:

"Offshore construction using gravity-base foundations indicates no
long-term impacts on dolphins and harbour porpoise"

Authors: Kelsey M. Potlock, Andrew J. Temple & Per Berggren

The publication is open access and can be found at the following
website: *https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00227-023-04240-1
<https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00227-023-04240-1>*

Abstract:
There are concerns about the short- and long-term effects on cetaceans from
offshore construction using pile-driving. Gravity-base foundations and
anchored floating turbines are alternative installation methods that may
have less impact on cetaceans. In this study, we investigated the response
of dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus *and *Lagenorhynchus albirostris*) and
harbour porpoise (*Phocoena phocoena*) to the construction of wind turbines
using gravity-base foundations off Blyth, Northumberland, United Kingdom
using cetacean echolocation recorders (C-PODs). Data were collected at nine
sites across 3 years (2016–2018) before, during and after construction.
Generalised additive mixed models were used to investigate temporal,
environmental, and anthropogenic drivers of dolphin and porpoise occurrence
from 143,215 h (5967 days) of C-POD data. The models explained 27% and 30%
of the deviance in dolphin and porpoise occurrence, respectively. Overall,
the results showed no long-term effect on the dolphin occurrence from the
construction of the gravity-base wind turbine array. In contrast, porpoise
occurrence increased by 32% and 75%, respectively, in the years during and
after construction, compared to the before-construction year. Other
predictors of dolphin and porpoise occurrence included month, hour of day,
tidal currents and vessel sonar activity. Our findings indicate that wind
turbine installation using gravity-base foundations had no long-term
effects on the occurrence of dolphins or porpoise and may represent an
offshore construction methodology that is less impactful to dolphins and
harbour porpoise than impact pile-driven turbine installation methods.
These results are important for future offshore energy developments;
however, further studies are recommended to investigate potential species
and location variations.

Thank you for your interest in this publication and if you have any
questions, please reach out to Prof. Per Berggren at *per.berggren at ncl.ac.uk
<per.berggren at ncl.ac.uk>*.

Warmest regards,

Kelsey, Andrew, and Per
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