This document presents a short review and overview of monitoring protocols developed and employed for surveying species and habitats in relation to offshore renewable energy developments. The document summarises the design phase of the monitoring process as well as providing a quick overview for key environmental descriptors (mammals, seabirds and benthic communities) which are protected under EU and national regulation. The main outcomes of this will be taken forward into D4.7 (Best practice report on environmental monitoring and new study techniques).
The core of this document is based on the "Guidance on survey and monitoring in relation to marine renewables deployment in Scotland1" developed by Scottish Natural Heritage and on "Guidelines for data acquisition to support marine environmental assessment of offshore renewable energy projects" developed by CEFAS in 2012 which have provided in depth reviews and analysis of protocols for environmental monitoring. This document highlights the key points of environmental protocols which are under development for monitoring the impact of marine and offshore energy converters on the marine environment. It is not the intention of this document to replicate or duplicate the work available in literature but to point users in the direction of more in-depth methodologies.
It is expected that the monitoring protocols described in this document will be improved with the growth of offshore renewable energy technology and through monitoring technology improvements, allowing for more specific and less intrusive monitoring programmes.