Assessing cumulative socio-ecological impacts of offshore wind farm development in the Bay of Seine (English Channel)

Journal Article

Title: Assessing cumulative socio-ecological impacts of offshore wind farm development in the Bay of Seine (English Channel)
Publication Date:
February 01, 2018
Journal: Marine Policy
Volume: 89
Pages: 11-20
Publisher: Elsevier
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Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Raoux, A.; Dambacher, J.; Pezy, J.; Mazé, C.; Dauvin, C.; Niquil, N. (2018). Assessing cumulative socio-ecological impacts of offshore wind farm development in the Bay of Seine (English Channel). Marine Policy, 89, 11-20.
Abstract: 

As part of the energy transition, the French government is planning the construction of Offshore Wind Farms (OWFs) in Normandy. These OWFs will be integrated into an ecosystem already facing multiple anthropogenic disturbances. A holistic view of cumulated impacts (OWF construction, global warming and fisheries) were developed on the Courseulles-sur-Mer’ ecosystem through the use of a qualitative mathematical modelling approach. This modelling approach provides the mean to consider alternative hypotheses about how the ecosystem structure and function affects its dynamics. Alternative models were constructed to address the different hypotheses regarding the behaviour of top predator (whether the top predators will be scared away by the OWF or attracted by the reef effect), impacts of global warming and changes in fisheries activities. Key findings from these analyses are that the OWF construction could lead to an increase in benthos species and fish benthos feeders whatever the perturbation scenario, while the predicted response of top predators was ambiguous across all perturbation scenario. Qualitative modelling results can play a vital role in decision making by improving long term planning for the marine environment but also as a tool for communication with the public and so contribute to a better acceptability of the Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) project.

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