This report aims to provide advice on appropriate biological population units to be used in environmental impact assessments of the potential impacts on cetacean populations of marine renewable energy developments in Scottish waters. The advice takes account of and where appropriate, is consistent with population units already established in related contexts, including Moray Firth SAC population of bottlenose dolphins, population units used for the assessment of the significance of by-catch of harbour porpoise in the ICES area, and population units for minke whale and other cetaceans used by the IWC, ASCOBANS etc. The report focuses on the most regularly present and significant cetacean species in Scottish waters - i.e. bottlenose dolphins, harbour porpoise, minke whales, risso's dolphins, white-beaked dolphins, common dolphins, white-sided dolphins and killer whales - and provides scientific support, as appropriate, for the populations selected. The tabulated species data below provides information on the structure of populations of regularly present and significant cetacean species (see above) in Scottish waters (out to 200 nm) and the geographical scale of biologically meaningful population units of the relevant species where these units extend beyond Scottish waters.
It can be used to provide advice on the relevant population units of these regularly present and significant cetacean species, which can be found in areas of search for renewable developments identified in Marine Scotland Scoping Studies for wind (2011), wave (2012) and tidal stream (2012) energy, and which therefore should be used in SEAs and project EIAs.