This report was compiled as part of the Marine Energy in Far Peripheral and Island Communities (MERiFIC) project. The MERiFIC project seeks to advance the adoption of marine energy across two regions of Cornwall and Finistère by developing 'toolkits' of methodologies and best practice, that will in turn, facilitate the development of sustainable marine renewable energy extraction in similar communities.
Marine Renewable Energy Installations (MREIs) have the potential to make significant contribution to energy supplies. However, their construction, operation and subsequent decommissioning in marine ecosystems may bring associated impacts (potentially positive and negative) to marine species and habitats. Cetaceans have been identified as a species group that may be affected. As such, to facilitate best practice in the development of MREIs, where negative effects are minimised and positive effects are promoted, it is necessary to quantify species distribution and relative abundance, both spatially and temporally, over seasonal and annual time scales.
Here we use autonomous passive acoustic monitoring devices (C-PODS) deployed in coastal water locations of the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, England, to monitor and subsequently describe, spatial and temporal occurrence of cetacean species in geographically remote locations through autumn and winter months; areas that would likely otherwise be inaccessible to traditional survey methods.