Offshore windfarms intrude upon an environment already heavily affected by human activities such as shipping and fishing. As they are large and complex installations and given the large numbers planned, offshore windfarms can be expected to have significant impacts on marine ecosystems with long-lasting effects from both construction and operation. Environmental impacts of offshore windfarms include destruction of the sea bottom and benthic communities, disruption of migrating species such as birds via barrier effects, and disturbance of sound-sensitive marine species through increased underwater noise. The various impacts affect species both concurrently and sequentially at different life stages and should therefore be assessed from a cumulative perspective.
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