Rhode Island Ocean SAMP - European Fisheries & Offshore Wind Farms Expert Advice & Guidance Final Report

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1 Rhode Island Ocean SAMP - European Fisheries & Offshore Wind Farms Expert Advice & Guidance Final Report 1 Department of Natural Resources April 2010

2 Report prepared and written by: Andrew B Gill PhD Natural Resources Department Bldg 37 School of Applied Sciences Cranfield University Cranfield MK43 0AL UK Frank Thomsen PhD Team Leader and Scientific Programme Manager Cefas, Lowestoft Laboratory Pakefield Road, Lowestoft Suffolk NR33 0HT UK 2

3 Introduction University of Rhode Island (URI) Coastal Resources Center/RI Sea Grant staff and researchers have compiled available information to assess the effects (positive, negative, or neutral) of offshore wind farms on fish and fish habitat; fishermen and fisheries activities; and marine mammals for the fisheries and marine mammal chapters of the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP). Much of the basis of the assessment has come from the science activity within Europe that has begun to establish a knowledge base on assessing the effects of offshore wind farms on the coastal environment. Cranfield University in collaboration with CEFAS and other organisations and individuals involved with understanding and assessing the effects of offshore wind farms was contracted to undertake a sequence of activities focused on providing expert advice, access to relevant materials and expert review to assist the Ocean SAMP team. The final research and review activity was to prepare a written summary of currently recommended mitigation and monitoring for the Ocean SAMP team based on advice and guidance from European offshore wind farm developments. Such information will feed into the development of policies, regulations and practices to appropriately manage fish/fisheries/marine mammals within the context of offshore renewable energy in the Ocean SAMP area. This document represents the final written summary. It consists of two main sections; the first is a generic risk assessment strategy that is recommended to the Ocean SAMP team for use when considering current and future questions relating to the effects of offshore wind farms on the coastal waters within the Ocean SAMP area. The second section of the report focuses on the current priorities suggested for consideration within the Ocean SAMP based on the experiences in Europe. Overall Assessment Strategy An important step in determining the requirements for managing the effects of any potential impact factor on an environmental receptor is to identify the actual risks of an effect occurring and having a potential impact. This step in the process is important to ensure that no management activities are put in place that are not required, based on our current understanding. This then allows a focus to be placed on defining and reducing the actual impact factor risk to receptors. We therefore suggest the application of a risk assessment framework such as the one developed for noise effects on marine mammals by the European Science Foundation (ESF 2008). Risk frameworks are useful for rationalising scientific research and focussing it on aspects that are expected to help reduce impacts on receptors. Here, risk is defined as the probability of disturbance or injury that could affect the viability of individuals or populations of specific organisms of interest. From these probabilities it is possible to apply a set of objective criteria to prioritise management action. 3

4 Risk Assessment Framework We suggest that the Ocean SAMP team follow a five stage approach similar to the one adopted by the ESF report (ESF 2008). 1. Identification of impact factor by identifying potential impact factors (s), their source, levels and characteristics in the local environment; Information may be derived from environmental monitoring data or other evidence and requires the organisms to be present and a direct potential effect on the organism with the presence of a hazard. 2. Characterisation of dose-response relationships through an evaluation of the conditions under which the effects might be manifest in exposed organisms, with particular emphasis on the quantitative relation between the dose and the response. This may include an assessment of variations in response, for example, differences in susceptibility in relation to age, sex, reproductive status and time of year. 3. Assessment of exposure to the impact factor and impact zones - by specifying the organisms and their populations that might be exposed to the impact factor, identifying the routes through which exposure can occur, and estimating the characteristics (magnitude, duration, extent and timing) of the doses that the organisms might receive as a result of their exposure. 4. Characterising the risk this is the step where risk-assessment results are expressed through integrating information from the first three steps to develop a qualitative or quantitative estimate of the likelihood that any of the stresses associated with the impact factor will be realized in exposed organisms. Risk characterization should also include an explicit consideration of the uncertainties associated with the estimates of risk. 5. Risk management - is where mitigation can be targeted on the most likely main effects on populations (ie. biologically relevant effects). The risk assessment framework can be operated using qualitative or quantitative information in each of the first four steps, however in order to establish appropriate measures to manage the risk the recommendation is that the more quantification the better. Risk Management involves the design and application of mitigation measures to reduce, eliminate, or rectify characterised risks. An important part of this is the contribution of scientific research to assist in identifying priority risks, and also contributing to risk management primarily by providing information and advice about effective mitigation techniques or strategies, which may be used by stakeholders to reduce these (priority) risks. Such information is also essential for developing informed knowledge based policy. 4

5 Offshore Wind Farm Impact factors within Ocean SAMP area Through consideration of the environmental effects framework of Gill (2005), which was incorporated into the original project proposal, the stressor/receptor framework of Boehlert and Gill (2010) and discussions with the Ocean SAMP team and key stakeholders the following were identified as the main risks of developing an Offshore Wind Farm within the SAMP waters, split into appropriate categories: Construction phase Pile driving noise Cable laying Oil/fluid spills Resuspension of sediments containing contaminants Benthic habitat disturbance Fishing activity disruption This phase is recognized as potentially the period of greatest disturbance which will last for a period of months, depending on the final number of turbines and the structure type. Operation phase Operational noise Electromagnetic fields (EMF) from cables and connections Oil/fluid spills Fishing activity disruption/change This phase is recognized as the period of longest disturbance which will likely have differences in severity and level of effect on the receptors. Decommission phase The potential risks associated with this phase are less certain because to a large degree they will be linked with the effects that occur during construction and responses of the ecosystem to the long term operation of wind farms in the coastal waters. It is generally expected that some of the issue relating to construction will be similar when decommissioning, such as noise (eg. deconstruction) and boating activity. There are also questions over whether the whole wind turbine structures would be removed, or if some of the subsea structure will be left in place. Therefore, any mitigation will need to be considered in the future when decommissioning plans have been properly developed and stakeholder opinion considered. For the purposes of the present document we restrict the text to construction and operation. 5

6 Offshore Wind Farm Receptors within Ocean SAMP area For the fish, fisheries and marine mammal aspects of the Ocean SAMP the focal receptors at risk of being affected by the impact factors in each of the phases are detailed within the chapters. They can be generally categorized into: Marine mammals - resident - migratory Fish - resident - migratory Fisheries - fin fish pelagic - fin fish demersal/benthic - shell fish - crustacean - commercial - recreational Monitoring There are a number of different ways that could be suggested to monitor both the current status and the environmental effects of offshore wind farm impact factors on receptors. The most appropriate monitoring programme will have to be determined locally according to local drivers, policies, receptor status and data availability and collection. There are suggestions to apply standard protocols, however these depend on available data. In practice such protocols have been adapted from other environmental assessment protocols such as in the UK the Statutory nature conservation agency protocol for minimising the risk of injury to marine mammals from piling noise is adapted from those used for seismic surveys (JNCC, NE & CCW 2010). Current monitoring practice in place in the EU and which is recommended to the Ocean SAMP is focused on meeting the legislative requirements and any site specific issues. As such they tend to be on a site-by-site basis. However, there are some fundamental aspects to determine: - Why should monitoring take place the objective - Who should undertake the monitoring the monitoring organisation - What is to be monitored the potential impact factors and the receptors - Where should the monitoring take place the location and extent - When should it occur timing and frequency - How long should the monitoring be duration 6

7 All of the above requires a suitable baseline set of data pre-wind farm development, the extent and timescale of which will depend on the receptor and the inherent natural variability that exists. For highly variable data the baseline will need to be undertaken for longer, more intensively and frequently in order to be able to detect any effect in the receptor being monitored. It is suggested that a minimum of two years of pre-construction data are obtained, supplemented by reference to historical/existing data sets. Current Monitoring Practice In order to characterise the dose-response and exposure of a receptor to an impact factor it is important to obtain suitable knowledge through good observation and monitoring, which can then be used to identify potential mitigation measures. Monitoring may serve two purposes, either demonstrating that there is an effect, or, if an effect is observed, of identifying the level at which it occurs. It is important to note that no monitoring programme can demonstrate that there is no effect, for the range of potential effects is large, and many effects would be too subtle for a generic monitoring programme to detect. A more scientific approach may be required to test for specific hypotheses about effects, with experiments designed incorporating strong statistical power Currently applied categories of offshore wind farm monitoring practice relating to fish, fisheries and marine mammals are highlighted below, [phase and impact factor type is shown square brackets]: Construction Pile driving Cable laying Fishing activity Operation Operational sound Cable (EMF) Fishing activity Noise monitoring Anthropogenic noise may cause physical trauma, hearing loss, behavioural change or behaviourally-mediated effects depending on the dose and exposure that the receiving organism is subject too. 7

8 Noise levels may be recorded in order to be matched against any response, such as behavioural reactions by receptor organisms. Such recordings also enable the sound source to be ranked against other local sources of noise, (eg. shipping). [Construction pile driving, cable laying; Operation operational sound; Decommissioning deconstruction activities] Marine mammal observation In principle, the monitoring of local cetaceans would help to confirm whether there is any observable effect of noise produced, such as pile driving. Monitoring the distribution of individuals around the noise source can be by done by tagging, visual observations (such as line transect surveys) using trained observers or passive acoustic monitoring to detect vocalisation by the mammals. Each method has limitations (as highlighted in the mitigation section below) so a combination of methods is likely to be required. [Construction pile driving, cable laying; Operation operational sound; Decommissioning demolition] EMF The emission of electric and magnetic fields from the subsea cables transmitting the electricity generated by the wind turbines have been suggested to have two potential effects, either attraction to the cable or avoidance of the cable. Hence the level of emission and the extent of the EMF may cause behavioural change or behaviourally-mediated effects. EMF can be measured in situ using appropriately sensitive meters, however, the threedimensional attributes of the EMF emitted (horizontal, vertical and longitudinal) and the time varying aspect relating to the electrical current in the cables and the movement of sea water through the fields make this a very time consuming and difficult task in the field. Current practice suggests that electricity production through the cables should be recorded and emissions associated with the cables monitored with data loggers, but this is not mandatory in Europe. Typically fisheries surveys of EM-sensitive species are conducted in addition to normal surveys that are conducted to determine fisheries species presence and use of the wind farm area. [Operation cables within wind farm array; main cables to shore/substation; cable connections to devices] Fisheries The monitoring of fisheries is conducted on a site-by-site basis following consultation between the wind farm developers/operators, government agencies, local fisheries and conservation 8

9 bodies and the consultants who undertake the surveys. The following is a summary of generally applied fisheries practice in the UK. Small beam trawl surveys, conducted on a quarterly to annual basis, are used to determine fish assemblages in baseline surveys, construction and post-construction. The focus of these surveys is to collect data on epibenthic invertebrates and some data on smaller demersal and benthic fish species. The gear is not adequate for larger demersal fish. Small gear is used to minimise potential snagging and damage between the wind turbine structures. The surveys are conducted within the wind farm array, along the cable route and the surrounding area, including near and far-field sites and reference stations. Commercial otter trawls within the wind turbine array area, along the cable routes and a number of reference sites have been used on a quarterly to annual basis. Commercial potting several times during a year have been conducted to survey for crab, lobster and small benthic elasmobranchs. Similarly, commercial shrimp surveys using small beam trawls have also been used. In some cases commercial long-line surveys have been undertaken throughout the year with multiple hooks deployed per line on tide during daylight. Additional information on fish communities can be obtained from routine fisheries surveys undertaken by fisheries research vessels Furthermore, anecdotal information is collated in consultation with local commercial fishermen. SCUBA diver or Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) surveys are sometimes used to assess the colonization of monopoles and observations of fish aggregation, however these can be limited by poor underwater visibility. Horizontal hydro-acoustic surveys have been undertaken at some European sites to look at pelagic fish densities, abundance, biomass and size frequencies along with behavioural observations (movement tracks). The method apparently causes no harm and very little disturbance to the fish. It is however important to ground truth the hydro-acoustic methods using traditional fishing techniques (eg. gill nets, small pelagic trawls and diver surveys to identify species present). It is suggested that hydro-acoustic surveys are best undertaken at night. It is regarded as inadequate technique for detecting fishes buried in sediment or in cavities created by scour protection. [Baseline ; Construction - pile driving, cable laying; Operation - operational sound; Decommissioning deconstruction activities, habitat removal] 9

10 Mitigation The aim of mitigation is to control and minimise environmental impact, and in general comprises of controlling the source of the impact factor, reducing the stress by use of engineering, altering timing of the exposure to the impact factor and other methods, followed by monitoring of the effects. The most extreme mitigation is to avoid carrying out the activity altogether, which in the case of offshore wind turbine construction and operation is not possible. In order for mitigation to be considered, the first step is to reflect back to the risk assessment framework. It is then necessary to know; the species that might be present, their sensitivity to the impact factorand hence the area that might be affected; the population density, which then allows the number of individuals that might be within the affected area to be estimated the biological significance of the effect, or the risk of the effect being detrimental to those individuals or their population (see also steps in the risk assessment framework) It is important to note that some perceived impact factors may not cause effects of environmental significance. For instance, the displacement of cetaceans to another area or similar habitat for a limited period because of pile driving activity (i.e. a behavioural effect) may well be unimportant. Alternatively, if for example, repeated disturbance and displacement from an area of biological functional importance (such as important feeding habitat, or fish spawning areas) may have significant consequences. Noise Mitigation methods The currently recommended mitigation to reduce potential impacts of underwater noise emitted by Offshore Wind Farm activities in the Ocean SAMP area are based on the OSPAR JAMP (2009) recommendations. Perhaps the most effective mitigation measure is geographical and seasonal restrictions to avoid noise stress of sensitive species and habitats. Sound-producing activities can be designed to avoid areas and/or times where and when marine mammals and other species are normally engaged in potentially sensitive activities such as mating, breeding, feeding, or migration. Measures could include not carrying out pile-driving in confined areas in close proximity to migrating fish and turtles, or avoiding peak periods where the organisms are feeding or breeding. More specifically, if marine mammals (or turtles or other sensitive species) are detected (visually or acoustically) close to the sound source then a delay in commencement or ceasing of 10

11 pile-driving could be appropriate for mitigating close-range effects such as Permanent Threshold Shift (PTS) and other injuries or Temporary Threshold Shift (TTS). Scheduling Noisy activities may be timed for periods when species are not in the area, for instance avoiding migratory periods or periods where breeding or nursery grounds are used. However, in many cases information is largely absent for some species, so it is difficult to apply this measure without further research on the use that specific susceptible species make of certain areas of the Ocean SAMP area. Noise exposure levels and exceedance criteria Whilst this method is intuitively appealing there are major concerns in determining what levels to use. The most important aspect is knowing the levels of sound received by the organism. It should be noted that noise level criteria are currently based on very limited data sets with respect to noise induced injury and behavioural response in marine mammals. There have been similar attempts to define exposure criteria for fish with a provisional set of injury criteria developed by Popper et al. (2006) and further amended by the Californian Ministry of Transport (see Another way to mitigate is to set areas of risk within which, for example, no marine mammal should be present during sound intensive activities. For marine mammals, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (UK) currently recommends an exclusion zone of 500 m for the start of seismic surveys while the Umweltbundesamt (Germany) recommends an exclusion zone of 750 m around a pile driving site where a certain sound pressure level should not be exceeded. The following measures are currently recommended to reduce the probability of species entering the areas of risk: Acoustic mitigation devices The approach here is that of using sound signals to warn the sensitive species, such as marine mammals so that they would move away from potential danger. Acoustic deterrent devices emit low level but adverse sounds and have been used for harbour porpoises to reduce bycatch in fisheries and to chase porpoises away from the injury zones of offshore wind farm construction. They have been shown to be effective in scaring the animals away from within around 500m of the source. The effective range of these devices may be less or larger for other species hence it might be necessary to adjust the number of devices. There are stronger mitigation devices such as seals scarers that have been also applied in offshore wind farm construction but their use is questionable from an environmental point of view. Reducing pile driving noise at source The method applies a soft-start (also known as ramp-up procedure) that slowly increases the energy of the emitted sound. Soft-start procedures are currently applied during the construction of offshore wind turbines for engineering reasons to ensure effective piling. 11

12 In principle this is a promising mitigation but the effectiveness has not been fully tested to a large degree. Ramping-up might make it more difficult for cetaceans and seals to localise the sound source. In addition, engineering methods such as bubble curtains and pile sleeves have been shown to reduce pile driving sound at frequencies above 1 khz substantially. Yet, it has to be investigated if the frequencies that are dampened by this methodology are effective to reduce impacts not only on marine mammals but also fish. Marine Mammal Observers (MMOs) MMOs are trained observers that visually detect and identify marine mammals, at distances of up to 500 m during daylight hours. The efficiency of this mitigation measure depends on the species being observed. Some cetaceans are inconspicuous and difficult to detect; in addition the approach does not work in poor visibility, at night or in higher sea states. Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) Passive acoustic monitoring entails listening passively to sources of sound, such as those emitted by marine mammals. As such PAM relies on animals to produce sound (and for those sounds to be recognised). PAMs can be used from a ship or installed on remotely operated or autonomous vehicles or from buoys to monitor over a wide area for long periods of time. The advantage of PAMs against visual methods is that data can be gathered on a daily basis more or less independent of environmental conditions. In some cases, species and even individuals can be clearly recognised by vocalisations and there have been examples of very effective long-term monitoring programs in marine mammals using PAMs. Mitigation measures for fish In theory all the effects mentioned previously for marine mammals can happen in fish and there is evidence for response, masking, TTS, PTS, injury and death in fish due to sound exposure from various sources. However, effects of offshore wind farm noise are poorly understood. Anecdotal research indicates that fish near to a pile driver are killed and/or injured and behavioural response has been proven at relatively low levels of exposure to pile driving. There is a diversity of hearing capabilities in fish, based on anatomical variations with fish of poor sensitivity that only detect particle motion, those with medium sensitivity detecting sound pressure and particle motion and specialists such as herring (Clupeids) that hear very well over a considerable range of frequencies. 12

13 EMF Mitigation methods The two potential effects of EMFs are cable attraction or avoidance by sensitive species. It is important to also note that sea water moving through the EMF emitted by the cables will create electric fields hence areas of high sea currents or tidal movements should generally be less favoured for locating wind farm cables. Cable shielding and design Industry standard, subsea electricity cables are designed to contain any directly emitted electric field but cannot shield the magnetic field. The materials used for shielding can be changed in terms of their conductivity and permittivity properties which can reduce the magnetic emissions which will reduce the potential for avoidance by some species that may be susceptible. However, it is not practically feasible to completely eliminate the magnetic field emission. Therefore, magnetic fields at levels that may attract sensitive species cannot be avoided. Designs of DC cables are recommended to have in internal return cable which keeps the electric field within the cable sheathing, thereby avoiding the need to use the sea for the return path. AC cables usually have three internal cables (cores) that are in close proximity and all three are enclosed in a sheath or shielding material. There are simulations of EMF emissions that suggest that the level of emission into the surrounding environment can be reduced a little by twisting the three cores around each other which causes some cancelling out of the EMF emitted. Opposing magnetic fields It is theoretically possible to cancel magnetic field emissions by emitting a similar EMF that is 180 o out of phase. In practice this method would be very difficult to achieve as the cables would have to be laid as close to each other as possible and have exactly opposite field emissions. The most likely application would be for main cables to shore transmitting DC electricity. Cable burial The burial of cables is required to reduce anchor and fishing gear snag and minimise cable movement and scour. It also reduces the physical distance between sensitive species and the EMF on the surface of the cable. The EMF emission will naturally decrease with distance from the axis of the cable and is not affected by the substratum that it is buried within, unless the substratum has some magnetic properties. When the EMF reaches the sea water above the sea bed it will induce electric fields, which will be lower than if the cable is directly exposed or not buried. Electricity Transmission The subsea cables are designed with different specifications and therefore it is possible to use high voltage cables that require smaller current loading or lower voltage cables that require higher current loading to provide the same electrical power. The advantage of a lower current is that the magnetic emission will be reduced. Higher voltage will increase the electric field 13

14 emission hence the cable shielding may need to be improved to continue to contain the emission. In environmental terms, the choice of cable will depend on the sensitive species present. If magnetically sensitive (ie. migratory species) then a reduced current would be favoured. If the species are electrically and magnetically sensitive (eg. elasmobranchs, sturgeons) then the choice would most likely be a balance between the current and voltage transmitted. The pro s and con s of the type of cable would also need to be discussed with electrical engineers to take into account local transmission and grid network characteristics. General mitigation Reducing the potential impacts linked with offshore wind farm devices could be considered at the design and siting stage. The main perceived risk to marine mammals and fish is an acoustic or EMF barrier effect or avoidance of important areas. It is not likely that changes to individual turbines will reduce noise significantly however there is suggestion that jacket structures emit lower sound levels compared to monopole structures. More intelligent planning, design and configuration of turbine arrays could minimise any potential issues. For example, it is important that transit routes for animals are considered so that they do not encounter an insurmountable barrier of turbines or cables during movements, or that critical functional habitats are not used to site the turbines. Fisheries The principle risk that requires consideration is the level of access to the wind farm area for fisheries. Current practice in Europe is in part split between the UK and other offshore wind farm nations such as the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. During construction there is a 500m restriction imposed around the whole of the wind farm area. This is consistent across Europe, including the UK. However, during operation this restriction is relaxed in the UK where there is an exclusion of 50m around each turbine, whereas in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium the 500m exclusion zone continues to apply. A note on legislation and policy relating to Offshore Wind Farm Developments The majority of offshore construction activities within the north eastern Atlantic, North Sea and Baltic areas (ie. within the OSPAR region) are licensed and regulated through international law (e.g. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) and at a national level through various legislative instruments (e.g. in the UK, Government regulation is through the FEPA licence; similar legislation In Germany uses the 'Seeanlagenverordnung'). An overview of the associated legislation for the OSPAR member states can be found in the OSPAR JAMP assessments (see 14

15 In addition, offshore construction activities in European waters, such as offshore wind farms require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be completed. The European Union EIA Directive on Environmental Impact Assessment of the effects of projects on the environment (Directive 85/377/EEC 1985; amended 1997/2003) sets out rules on the information an EIA must provide. Best management practice Based on the discussion in the previous sections it is clear that Best Management Practice needs to be focused on what will work and not speculation or unsubstantiated practice. This requires research and analysis to understand the potential risks in a local context, application of best available evidence and studies to determine the effectiveness of any management measures that are put in place. It is important that studies are conducted to test the management practice, peer reviewed if possible, and cost implications considered. For example some methodologies have an inherent bias that needs to be highlighted (eg. MMO s and species specific use) also some methods are only partly effective (eg. bubble curtains or sleeves only get rid of certain frequencies of sound). Future Research Priorities There is a real need for a greater understanding and better data on the interactions between marine species and offshore wind farms. This includes data on the distribution and abundance, migration routes, behaviour, life-history traits, food and habitat requirements and population dynamics of sensitive species covering temporal and spatial variation. Furthermore, with increasing human activities such as offshore wind developments in coastal waters suitable reference populations need to be identified and cumulative and trans-boundary effects will require more robust assessment methodologies. Hence, a detailed approach to determining the physical and ecological footprint at several scales is important for the future. In identifying specific future research priorities we have split the research areas into three main areas: noise, EMF and fisheries. Many of these research topics have been identified by OSPAR (2008) and other committees. Here we provide those of most relevance to the Ocean SAMP and its future application. Underwater noise Priority for SAMP Acoustic measurements of relevant sound sources (pile driving v jacket construction; operational noise) covering sound levels, frequencies and radiated sound field particularly associated with construction noise; these measurements should include particle motion in addition to sound pressure levels. Systematic measurements of underwater ambient noise to quantify how human activities are affecting the acoustic environment. 15

16 Behavioural responses to sound exposure of relevant Ocean SAMP species to establish cause-effect relationships; Other relevant research Hearing measurements for more data relating to sensitivity of individuals v frequency of sound for both marine fish and marine mammals; Effects of sound exposure on hearing: masking, PTS and TTS. It is necessary to further investigate the physiological effects of underwater noise; The applicability of existing regulations and treaties for the protection of the marine environment from the effects of underwater sound should be investigated. Testing the efficiency of mitigation methods (for example soft start) applied in the Ocean SAMP area. Distribution and abundance of marine mammals in the Ocean SAMP using visual surveys and PAM EMF Priority for SAMP Assessment of whether local EM-sensitive species can detect and respond to the 60 Hz electricity transmission. The research undertaken will depend on the cable and transmission characteristics used at the wind farm site. In situ determination of EMF emissions associated with subsea cables. Both the electric and magnetic field components should be measured separately. Other relevant research Determination of the distribution of EM-sensitive species with the Ocean SAMP waters and the overlap with wind farm infrastructure. This will inform the risk assessment process. Fisheries Priority for SAMP Understanding the extent to which existing fishing and wind farm operations will overlap and where they can be conducted together safely. Other relevant research Determine the potential for wind farm based fisheries within the SAMP area. This may be for specific target species and/or most appropriate fishing techniques. The initial research could be targeted at resolving the question of whether the wind farm structures provide benefits to fisheries species, in terms of abundance, biomass and size or do not change the overall fishery. Examining habitat complexity associated with scour protection and the influence on benthic fisheries species (eg. Crustacea), to determine if the species abundance and distribution is altered. 16

17 Acknowledgements We thank all the University of Rhode Island, Coastal Resources Center/RI Sea Grant staff and researchers staff and stakeholders involved in the Ocean SAMP. In particular we very much appreciate the assistance and support of: Tiffany, Jen, Michelle, Sarah, Grover, Dave and Amber. References Boehlert, G.W. & Gill, A.B. (2010) Environmental and ecological effects of ocean renewable energy development a current synthesis. Oceanography 23(2): ESF (2008) Marine Board ASF / European Science Foundation (ESF). Position Paper 13 - The effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals (www.esf.org/marineboard). Gill, A.B. (2005) Offshore renewable energy - ecological implications of generating electricity in the coastal zone. Journal of Applied Ecology. 42: JNCC, NE and CCW (2010) The protection of marine European Protected Species from injury and disturbance Guidance for the marine area in England and Wales and the UK offshore marine area. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Natural England and Countryside Council for Wales. OSPAR (2008) Assessment of the environmental impact of offshore wind-farms. OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (www.ospar.org).. Publication number 385/2008. OSPAR (2009) JAMP assessment of the impacts of anthropogenic underwater sound in the marine environment, OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (www.ospar.org). Publication number 436/2009 Popper, A.N, Carlson, T.J, Hawkins, A.D, Southall, B.L. (2006) Interim criteria for injury of fish exposed to pile driving operations: a white paper, (available at: 17

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