Problem: Offshore floating wind turbine moorings, power cables and associated derelict fishing gear may pose entanglement threats to protected marine species and there is currently no literature available that is applicable to deep water (>500 m) mooring designs.
Intervention: Develop a simulator designed to examine the risk and potential severity of entanglement of fin and humpback whales and leatherback sea turtles with at least two deep water (>500m) offshore floating wind turbine mooring systems and associated derelict fishing gear.
Comparison: This would be the first effort of its kind and will provide an important assessment tool that can be tested for validation once offshore floating platforms are installed in deeper water offshore California.
Outcome: In the absence of empirical data, the simulator will provide resource managers, regulators and industry with a tool to proactively assess and mitigate the risk of entanglement for protected whale species and leatherback sea turtles in deep water offshore floating turbine mooring systems and associated derelict fishing gear.
Context: Focused on the Pacific, but potentially applicable to all OCS regions.