A workshop on Electric and Magnetic Fields (EMF) and Aquatic Life was organized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and held on November 15, 2012, at the Monterey Bay Aquatic Research institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing, California. The purpose of the workshop was to help EPRI identify research needs regarding the potential impact of EMF from offshore energy generation and/or underwater transmission cables on various forms of aquatic life. The workshop participants reviewed the current state of knowledge based on field and laboratory studies on the developmental and behavioral effects of EMF on aquatic animals and EMF marine exposure assessment studies.
The workshop was intended to explore how EPRI might shape a future EMF and Aquatic Effects research program to help fill knowledge gaps on the environmental impacts of offshore energy and underwater transmission developments. This is largely in response to the worldwide push for renewable energy development that will include, among others, wave, tidal, and offshore wind facilities. It is also in response to the growing use of undersea cables to transmit power and interconnect grids. The specific objectives of the workshop were threefold:
- Identify gaps in EMF aquatic-life knowledge
- Develop recommendations for future research
- Set priorities for the recommendations