Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Fish

Report

Title: Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Fish
Publication Date:
July 17, 2009
Document Number: ME1117
Pages: 45
Receptor:

Document Access

Attachment: Access File
(282 KB)

Citation

Walker, R.; Judd, A.; Warr, K.; Doria, L.; Pacitto, S.; Vince, S.; Howe, L. (2009). Strategic Review of Offshore Wind Farm Monitoring Data Associated with FEPA Licence Conditions: Fish. Report by Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS). pp 45.
Abstract: 

The main purpose of FEPA licence conditions relating to fish and fisheries is to offer them protection from impacts associated with construction activities. Those licence conditions requiring surveys to collect data are intended to generate information that will help to validate predictions made in specific Environmental Statements and to determine large-scale change in species distribution, abundance and community structure that may be attributable to the licensed offshore wind farm. The regulators use the outputs from the licence conditions (including pre-and post-construction surveys) to inform the need and scope of revisions to ongoing and future monitoring and mitigation requirements to ensure that any impacts are suitably managed.

 

A large number of parameters will influence the abundance and distribution of fish stocks both within and between years, including: natural variability; fishing effort; environmental conditions (including oceanographic and climate conditions); seasonal variability in distribution; predator/prey interactions; food availability etc. These are in addition to any effects that marine constructions such as a wind farm may also have. For most offshore wind farm locations there are a lack of robust time-series baseline data for the local abundance and distribution of fish and shellfish. Given this complex backdrop Cefas refer to these investigations on fish within FEPA licences as surveys rather than monitoring.

 

All FEPA licence conditions for fish and shellfish have their source in the predictions made within the Environmental Statements for these developments. This report considers the FEPA licence conditions relating to fish for offshore wind farms at: North Hoyle; Barrow; Kentish Flats; Scroby Sands; Burbo Bank; Lyn and Inner Dowsing, Rhyl Flats; Gunfleet Sands and Thanet and relates these to the fish surveys undertaken under the FEPA licence. It draws conclusions from the exercise and specifically considers which conditions have been successfully applied and those that might no longer be necessary. It also describes where some conditions could be strengthened, and opportunities for standardising are harmonising data collection to support them.

 

Summaries of the licence and monitoring outputs for the North Hoyle; Barrow; Kentish Flats; Scroby Sands; and Burbo Bank; Lyn and Inner Dowsing, Rhyl Flats; Gunfleet Sands and Thanet offshore winds farms are included in the Appendices. It should be noted that underwater noise issues are covered in a separate section.

 

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