The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) was established, in Orkney, in 2003 to enable the deployment and testing of wave and tidal energy converters. Since then, numerous devices have been tested at both the wave and tidal energy test sites, at Billia Croo and the Fall of Warness, respectively. For most of the time since, land-based wildlife observations have been made at both sites, primarily to inform Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Habitats Regulation Appraisal (HRA) requirements for development there, but also to help understand potential interactions between marine renewables related activity and wildlife.
This study provides a comprehensive review of the wildlife observed at both locations since observations began and, specifically, investigates the potential influence of device installation, operation and related activity, upon marine wildlife distribution and abundance. Spatial and temporal variations in relation to wider environmental parameters, unrelated to development activity, are also considered.