The potential ornithological impacts associated with the construction, operation and maintenance and decommissioning (together referred to as the ‘project lifecycle’) of wave and tidal energy devices (‘wave and tidal devices’) have been identified and described in the Scottish Marine Renewables Strategic Environmental Assessment (‘the SEA’) (Faber Maunsell & Metoc, 2007), the Scottish Natural Heritage (‘SNH’) document “Guidance on survey and monitoring in relation to marine renewables deployments in Scotland – Volume 4: Birds” (Jackson & Whitfield, 2011) and by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (‘RSPB’) (McCluskie et al., 2013). These documents highlight the general impacts that may arise during the project lifecycle of wave and tidal devices and have informed the Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) of projects that have been consented or await consent.
This paper builds upon current knowledge and available literature, drawing upon the experiences of those involved in the wave and tidal energy industry (gathered by telephone interviews with 11 stakeholders in industry, regulators and academia) in order to highlight key ornithological issues that have arisen during the development of wave and tidal devices and arrays. The aim of this paper is to provide a consolidated understanding of the current status of the ornithological issues facing the wave and tidal industry, highlight knowledge gaps and detail key experiences. Recommendations are also made for future research priorities and to aid the successful future deployment of wave and tidal devices