Marine renewables is a rapidly developing industry. In past meetings, the ICES Working Group on Marine Mammal Ecology (WGMME1) looked at the effects of construction and operation of windfarms (ICES WGMME 2010), tidal devices (ICES WGMME 2011) and wave energy converters (ICES WGMME 2012) on marine mammals1. This included an overview of some of the features of renewable energy devices and the distribution and scale of developments in the ICES Area. Further information on these can be found in the respective reports. In addition, in 2010 the WGMME presented an overview of each country’s guidelines on monitoring and mitigation of the effects of the offshore wind renewable energy sector. Preliminary guidelines for the wet renewable energy sectors were reviewed in 2011 and 2012. As wet renewable devices are at a relatively early stage of development, so are their guidelines and knowledge of the potential interactions with marine mammals is limited; based purely on first interactions and inferences derived from comparisons with other industries such as offshore wind, fisheries, and oil and gas developments.
This current synthesis summarizes the known and proposed effects of construction, operation and decommissioning of renewable energy devices on marine mammals, highlights information data gaps and presents the main recommendations of the ICES WGMME.