OES-Environmental distributes metadata forms (questionnaires) to solicit information from researchers around the world who are exploring the environmental effects of marine renewable energy. This page provides a description and contact information related to the research. Content is updated on an annual basis.

Providing ecological context to anthropogenic subsea noise: Assessing listening space reductions of marine mammals from tidal energy devices

Study Status: 
Princple Investigator Contact Information: 

Name: Matthew Pine

Address: Department of Biology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8P 5C2

Email: mattpine@uvic.ca

Project Description: 

Listening space reductions (LSR) for harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) were assessed in winter and summer for two tidal energy devices of different designs. 

Funding Contact: 

This work was supported by the PowerKite project which has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant agreement no. 654438.

Location of Research: 

Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, UK

Project Aims: 
  1. To apply the listening space reduction (LSR) method to identify the potential zone of influence for which listening space decay may occur for two marine mammal species around two different tidal energy devices.
  2. To assess LSRs in winter and summer to evaluate the influence of season and associated ambient noise levels.
  3. To demonstrate the transferability of this approach to the MRE sector, providing a complementary toolset that could better inform the pre- and post-consenting processes.
Project Progress: 


Key Findings: 

Results demonstrated that LSR was influenced by type of turbine, species, and season. For instance, LSRs for harbour seals were in excess of 80% within 60 m, whilst for harbour porpoises they were in excess of 55% within 10 m of the devices. For both species, LSRs were highest during winter, characterised by low ambient noise conditions. These findings highlight the importance of assessing masking over seasons, as masking effects are highly influenced by ambient noise conditions. 

Related Publications: 

Pine, M.; Schmitt, P.; Culloch, R.; Lieber, L.; Kregting, L. (2019). Providing ecological context to anthropogenic subsea noise: Assessing listening space reductions of marine mammals from tidal energy devices. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 103, 49-57. https://tethys.pnnl.gov/publications/providing-ecological-context-anthropogenic-subsea-noise-assessing-listening-space

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