Assessing the Sensitivity of Seabird Populations to Adverse Effects from Tidal Stream Turbines and Wave Energy Devices

Journal Article

Title: Assessing the Sensitivity of Seabird Populations to Adverse Effects from Tidal Stream Turbines and Wave Energy Devices
Publication Date:
June 22, 2012
Journal: International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
Volume: 69
Issue: 8
Pages: 1466-1479
Publisher: Oxford Journals
Receptor:
Technology Type:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Furness, R.; Wade, H.; Robbins, A.; Masden, E. (2012). Assessing the Sensitivity of Seabird Populations to Adverse Effects from Tidal Stream Turbines and Wave Energy Devices. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, 69(8), 1466-1479.
Abstract: 

Tidal turbines and wave energy devices may affect seabird populations through collision mortality, disturbance and habitat loss. Given the pressures to harness tidal and wave energy, especially in Scottish waters, there is an urgent need to assess population-level impacts on seabird species. With a lack of deployed devices to monitor in areas of importance for seabirds, our approach uses data from scientific literature on seabird ecology and conservation importance likely to influence population vulnerability to “wet renewables” in Scottish waters. At this stage however, we can only infer likely interactions with tidal and wave devices. We identify black guillemot, razorbill, European shag, common guillemot, great cormorant, divers and Atlantic puffin as the species most vulnerable to adverse effects from tidal turbines in Scottish waters. We identify divers as the species most vulnerable to adverse effects from wave energy devices in Scottish waters. Wave energy devices seem likely to represent a lesser hazard to seabirds than tidal turbines, and both forms of energy capture seem likely to represent a lower hazard to seabirds than offshore wind farms (wind-power plants). The indices developed here for Scottish seabird populations could be applied to populations elsewhere. This approach will help in identifying likely impacts of tidal and wave energy deployments on seabirds, and in optimizing deployment of resources for compulsory environmental monitoring.

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