[MARMAM] New paper: Characterising underwater noise and changes in harbour porpoise behaviour during the decommissioning of an oil and gas platform

Oihane Fdez oihane.fdez at gmail.com
Mon Feb 12 07:44:03 PST 2024


Dear MARMAM colleagues,



On behalf of my co-authors I would like to share our recent publication in
Marine Pollution Bulletin:



Fernandez-Betelu, O., Graham, I.M., Malcher, F., Webster, E., Cheong, S.H.,
Wang, L., Iorio-Merlo, V., Robinson, S. and Thompson, P.M., 2024.
Characterising underwater noise and changes in harbour porpoise behaviour
during the decommissioning of an oil and gas platform. Marine Pollution
Bulletin, 200, p.116083.


Link to paper (open access):
*https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X24000602
<https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X24000602>*



Abstract

Many man-made marine structures (MMS) will have to be decommissioned in the
coming decades. While studies on the impacts of construction of MMS on
marine mammals exist, no research has been done on the effects of their
decommissioning. The complete removal of an oil and gas platform in
Scotland in 2021 provided an opportunity to investigate the response of
harbour porpoises to decommissioning. Arrays of broadband noise recorders
and echolocation detectors were used to describe noise characteristics
produced by decommissioning activities and assess porpoise behaviour.
During decommissioning, sound pressure spectral density levels in the
frequency range 100 Hz to 48 kHz were 30–40 dB higher than baseline, with
vessel presence being the main source of noise. The study detected
small-scale (< 2 km) and short-term porpoise displacement during
decommissioning, with porpoise occurrence increasing immediately after
this. These findings can inform the consenting process for future
decommissioning projects.



Please, do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions
regarding our work (oihane.fernandez at abdn.ac.uk).



Kind regards,



*Dr Oihane Fernandez-Betelu*

Research Fellow

Lighthouse Field Station,

Institute of Biological & Environmental Sciences,
University of Aberdeen,
Cromarty IV11 8YL.
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