Study to take soundings on dolphins’ attitude to turbines 

Posted: July 31, 2017 by oldbrew in research, turbines, wind

Bottlenose dolphin [image credit: NASA]

H/T Wind Energy News

Ideally these studies should have been done years ago, but better late than never.

Scottish scientists are set to gain new insights into the lives and habits of the world’s most northerly resident population of bottlenose dolphins and how they are coping with wind turbines in the North Sea, says The Scotsman.

The study is one of four new scientific projects selected as part of a pioneering £2.7 million investigation into the potential impact of offshore wind farms on society and the environment launched by the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC).

The £300 million scheme, Scotland’s largest offshore wind power testing facility, will trial cutting-edge renewables technology in Aberdeen Bay. Experts say the innovative programme, which is jointly funded by EOWDC owner Vattenfall and the European Union, will put Scotland at the forefront of research and development in the sector.

The successful projects, three of which are Scottish-based, will focus on bottlenose dolphins, salmon and sea trout, vulnerable seabirds and the socio-economic effects on humans.

The dolphin study will track and analyse the movements of Scotland’s Moray Firth population, which now numbers around 200 animals, over the next three years.

These resident cetaceans have been studied since 1989 and are known to travel up and down the east coast, venturing as far south as the Firth of Forth. Now researchers will examine their habits in greater detail than ever before to assess any impacts on their behaviour both during construction of the turbines and after they are powered up next year.

Full report: Study to take soundings on dolphins’ attitude to turbines | Wind Energy News

  1. Roger,

    I dislike wind turbines, on shore or off shore, unless they are in a windy place where they would be a best choice without tax credits and subsidies.

    That said, I suspect dolphins will love them. Turbines kill seagulls and that attracts fish. The dolphins will learn that very quickly, if they don’t already know. They can choose to swim close at meal time and far away when they are not ready to eat.

    Ideally these studies should have been done years ago, but better late than never.

    There are already enough off shore turbines and likely enough studies are already done. They should save some tax money and search for an already published paper about this, but there is no profit in using existing research. I have heard stories and read articles, that fishing is good around off shore oil rigs, off shore turbines, sunken ships, ANYTHING! They even dug up a highway tunnel from La Port to Baytown Texas, that was blocking the deepening of the Houston Ship Channel and took it out in the Gulf of Mexico to improve fishing.


  2. oldbrew says:

    It would be embarrassing for the wind industry if the famous dolphins vanished from the local area due to turbines appearing…

    Iconic bottlenose dolphins add £4 million to Scottish economy, new report shows
    04 October 2010

  3. Jim says:

    But, we don’t know if the thin of turbines attract the right type of fish. Bait fish would also attract other fish. We know, low frequency noises attract sharks. But with the intermittent cycle of on off, would this keep the prey in the area, or disperse them. But, I wish, they would study the climate? Whether the weather changes downwind from a wind farm. You introduce turbalance to a laminar system, you increase resistance, is there the same effect here?

  4. stpaulchuck says:

    for the poor dolphins it must sound like the thrashing of a thousand 1940’s washing machines beating themselves to death. I cannot imagine the din these stupid windmills create. They are bad enough on land but sound travels huge distances underwater.

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