Humpback Whale Encounter with Offshore Wind Mooring Lines and Inter-Array Cables

Report

Title: Humpback Whale Encounter with Offshore Wind Mooring Lines and Inter-Array Cables
Publication Date:
October 01, 2018
Document Number: PNNL-27988
Pages: 34
Publisher: BOEM
Sponsoring Organization:
Stressor:

Document Access

Website: External Link

Citation

Copping, A.; Grear, M. (2018). Humpback Whale Encounter with Offshore Wind Mooring Lines and Inter-Array Cables. Report by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). pp 34.
Abstract: 

Floating offshore wind farms have been proposed in the deep waters off the U.S. west coast and Hawaii to provide renewable energy to coastal populations.Anchoring floating wind platforms to the seabed requires multiple mooring lines that pass through the water column from platforms at the surface to the sea floor. Electrical cables also will be draped in the water column between wind platforms. Concerns have been raised that large cetaceans might encounter lines from an offshore wind array, potentially causing harm, including entanglement,to the whales. There are few floating offshore wind arrays anywhere in the world where this encounter can be tested and no completely appropriate industrial analogues that can be applied. Understanding this potential risk to whales requires other means of visualizing the likelihood and mechanisms of encounter. An animation has been developed as a method for communicating this potential risk. This report provides the information used to create an animation of humpback whales encountering mooring lines and inter-array cables from a hypothetical floating offshore wind farm.

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