This paper aims to review existing information to determine our current state of knowledge on the ecological impacts of Offshore Wind-Farms (OWFs), so that future research can be prioritised and better targeted on key issues of concern.
The paper is structured to include the key stages of any OWF development ( i.e. construction activities; physical presence; operation and decommissioning) and, for each of these stages, discusses the various associated impacts, what has been done to assess them, what conclusions can be made and identifies knowledge gaps.
As there are subtle differences in the associated impacts, a distinction is made between physical presence and operation.
This overview is published as a living document on the OSPAR website. The initial Comprehensive Reference List of Documents Pertinent to the Assessment and Review initially attached to this document is now available on the website for exchange of marine environmental information on renewable energy (www.environmentalexchange.info).
Contracting Parties to OSPAR are responsible for keeping the information they have provided (including links to websites) up-to-date, and they submit by 1 February each year details of any new or updated relevant information to the UK, so that the UK updates the Status Report as appropriate. In preparing this work, the UK takes into account the outcome of associated research and relevant Workshops as advised by other Contracting Parties.