The impact on fish of large tidal in-stream tidal energy converters (TISEC) deployed in very high flow environments (>2 m/s) is unknown. The issue is especially pertinent in areas where migratory fish, including transboundary species of special concern (endangered, threatened or commercial) are present. Direct contact with turbine blades and subsequent injury or mortality, and indirect effects on behaviour and use of natural migratory pathways, continue to be the primary concerns of regulators and many other stakeholders.
To address the potential risk of environmental effects on fish that utilize the FORCE test area as a migratory route and for other movements (e.g. foraging), a multi-year tracking study was conducted to assess the movements of four species of concern - Atlantic sturgeon (regionally threatened), Atlantic salmon (smolts; endangered inner Bay of Fundy population), American eel (silver stage; threatened) and striped bass (endangered Bay of Fundy population). They display broad characteristics of movement and depth preferences, and may provide insight on potential impacts on species with similar natural history characteristics.