[MARMAM] New publication: Prospective modelling of operational offshore wind farms on the distribution of marine megafauna in the southern North Sea

Auriane Virgili auriane at sharetheocean.earth
Mon Feb 19 23:45:58 PST 2024


Dear MARMAM colleagues,

On behalf of my co-authors, I am pleased to share our new publication in 
the open access journal Frontiers in Marine Science, Vol. 11:

Virgili, A. / Laran, S. / Authier, M. / Dorémus, G. / Van Canneyt, O. / 
Spitz, J.

Prospective modelling of operational offshore wind farms on the 
distribution of marine megafauna in the southern North Sea.

In this publication, we carried out a series of 6 aerial surveys in the 
English Channel to monitor marine megafauna in 2017-2018, covering all 
seasons. The monitored area has been commissioned to host an offshore 
wind farm (OWF) off the town of Dunkirk. France has been lagging 
compared to northern European countries with respect to the harnessing 
of wind power for energy consumption. The surveys took place to 
establish baselines. Taking stock of the fact that neighbouring 
countries (Belgium and the UK) already have operating OWFs in the 
neighbourhood of the studied area, we carried out a prospective 
modelling exercise to predict, using a Before-After Gradient (BAG) 
design, the potential effect of the *operating* Dunkirk OWF. In effect, 
distance to the nearest OWF was included in models and the distribution 
of seabirds and harbour porpoises predicted under the assumption that 
the Dunkirk OWF were already in operation to assess potential changes. 
We found a negative effect of distance to the nearest OWF on harbour 
porpoise, black-legged kittiwakes, cormorants and northern gannets: the 
highest densities of these megafauna were found at distances larger than 
40 km from operating OWFs. Our prospective study highlighted potential 
impacts on these species of the Dunkirk OWF when it will start operating.

The paper is available in open access here : 
https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2024.1344013.

If you have any questions about our work, please reach out.

Cheers,

Auriane

-- 

Dr Auriane VIRGILI
Ingénieure de recherche / Research engineer
Share the Ocean consortium,
14 place de l'Eglise, 56870 Larmor Baden, France
E-mail : auriane at sharetheocean.earth



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