Strong tidal currents in eastern Maine, USA, make that region attractive for tidal power development. Little is known about the effects of marine hydrokinetic (MHK) devices on fish, yet many fish species use tidal currents for movements. We used empirical data from stationary and mobile hydroacoustic surveys to examine the probability that fish would be at the depth of an MHK device and may therefore encounter it. The probability was estimated using three components: 1) probability of fish being at device-depth when the device was absent; 2) probability of fish behavior changing to avoid the device in the far-field; and 3) probability of fish being at device-depth in the near-field when the device was present. There were differences in probabilities of fish encountering the MHK device based on month, diel condition and tidal stage. The maximum probability of fish encountering the whole device was 0.432 (95% CI: [0.305, 0.553]), and the probability of fish encountering only device foils was 0.058 (95% CI: [0.043, 0.073]). Mobile hydroacoustics indicated that fish likely avoided the device with horizontal movement beginning 140 m away. We estimated the encounter probability for one device, but results can be applied to arrays, which may have bay-wide implications.
Estimating the Probability of Fish Encountering a Marine Hydrokinetic Device
Title: Estimating the Probability of Fish Encountering a Marine Hydrokinetic Device
November 01, 2016
Journal: Renewable Energy
Shen, H.; Zydlewski, G.; Viehman, H.; Staines, G. (2016). Estimating the Probability of Fish Encountering a Marine Hydrokinetic Device. Renewable Energy, 97, 746-756.