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Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk

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Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise : implications for collision risk. / Hastie, Gordon D.; Russell, Debbie J. F.; Lepper, Paul; Elliott, Jim; Wilson, Ben; Benjamins, Steven; Thompson, Dave.

In: Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 55, No. 2, 03.2018, p. 684-693.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Hastie, GD, Russell, DJF, Lepper, P, Elliott, J, Wilson, B, Benjamins, S & Thompson, D 2018, 'Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk' Journal of Applied Ecology, vol. 55, no. 2, pp. 684-693. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12981

APA

Hastie, G. D., Russell, D. J. F., Lepper, P., Elliott, J., Wilson, B., Benjamins, S., & Thompson, D. (2018). Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk. Journal of Applied Ecology, 55(2), 684-693. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12981

Vancouver

Hastie GD, Russell DJF, Lepper P, Elliott J, Wilson B, Benjamins S et al. Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2018 Mar;55(2):684-693. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12981

Author

Hastie, Gordon D. ; Russell, Debbie J. F. ; Lepper, Paul ; Elliott, Jim ; Wilson, Ben ; Benjamins, Steven ; Thompson, Dave. / Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise : implications for collision risk. In: Journal of Applied Ecology. 2018 ; Vol. 55, No. 2. pp. 684-693.

Bibtex - Download

@article{059fc6328f5b42899de10a92f48d98cf,
title = "Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk",
abstract = "1.  Tidal stream energy converters (turbines) are currently being installed in tidally energetic coastal sites. However, there is currently a high level of uncertainty surrounding the potential environmental impacts on marine mammals. This is a key consenting risk to commercial introduction of tidal energy technology. Concerns derive primarily from the potential for injury to marine mammals through collisions with moving components of turbines. To understand the nature of this risk, information on how animals respond to tidal turbines is urgently required.2.  We measured the behaviour of harbour seals in response to acoustic playbacks of simulated tidal turbine sound within a narrow coastal channel subject to strong, tidally induced currents. This was carried out using data from animal-borne GPS tags and shore-based observations, which were analysed to quantify behavioural responses to the turbine sound.3.  Results showed that the playback state (silent control or turbine signal) was not a significant predictor of the overall number of seals sighted within the channel.4.  However, there was a localised impact of the turbine signal; tagged harbour seals exhibited significant spatial avoidance of the sound which resulted in a reduction in the usage by seals of between 11 and 41{\%} at the playback location. The significant decline in usage extended to 500 m from the playback location at which usage decreased by between 1 and 9{\%} during playback. 5. Synthesis and applications:  This study provides important information for policy makers looking to assess the potential impacts of tidal turbines and advise on development of the tidal energy industry. Results showing that seals avoid tidal turbine sound suggest that a proportion of seals encountering tidal turbines will exhibit behavioural responses resulting in avoidance of physical injury; in practice, the empirical changes in usage can be used directly as avoidance rates when using collision risk models to predict the effects of tidal turbines on seals. There is now a clear need to measure how marine mammals behave in response to actual operating tidal turbines in the long term to learn whether marine mammals and tidal turbines can co-exist safely at the scales currently envisaged for the industry.",
keywords = "Collision risk, Marine mammals, Avoidance, Renewable energy, Pinnipeds, Marine spatial planning, Underwater noise, Tidal turbines, Behavioural responses",
author = "Hastie, {Gordon D.} and Russell, {Debbie J. F.} and Paul Lepper and Jim Elliott and Ben Wilson and Steven Benjamins and Dave Thompson",
note = "The work was funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (RESPONSE project, NE/J004251/1). It was also supported by NERC National Capability funding to the Sea Mammal Research Unit (grant no. SMRU1001). Data available from the Dryad Digital Repository. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vt2b3",
year = "2018",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1111/1365-2664.12981",
language = "English",
volume = "55",
pages = "684--693",
journal = "Journal of Applied Ecology",
issn = "0021-8901",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons, Ltd (10.1111)",
number = "2",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise

T2 - Journal of Applied Ecology

AU - Hastie, Gordon D.

AU - Russell, Debbie J. F.

AU - Lepper, Paul

AU - Elliott, Jim

AU - Wilson, Ben

AU - Benjamins, Steven

AU - Thompson, Dave

N1 - The work was funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (RESPONSE project, NE/J004251/1). It was also supported by NERC National Capability funding to the Sea Mammal Research Unit (grant no. SMRU1001). Data available from the Dryad Digital Repository. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5061/dryad.vt2b3

PY - 2018/3

Y1 - 2018/3

N2 - 1.  Tidal stream energy converters (turbines) are currently being installed in tidally energetic coastal sites. However, there is currently a high level of uncertainty surrounding the potential environmental impacts on marine mammals. This is a key consenting risk to commercial introduction of tidal energy technology. Concerns derive primarily from the potential for injury to marine mammals through collisions with moving components of turbines. To understand the nature of this risk, information on how animals respond to tidal turbines is urgently required.2.  We measured the behaviour of harbour seals in response to acoustic playbacks of simulated tidal turbine sound within a narrow coastal channel subject to strong, tidally induced currents. This was carried out using data from animal-borne GPS tags and shore-based observations, which were analysed to quantify behavioural responses to the turbine sound.3.  Results showed that the playback state (silent control or turbine signal) was not a significant predictor of the overall number of seals sighted within the channel.4.  However, there was a localised impact of the turbine signal; tagged harbour seals exhibited significant spatial avoidance of the sound which resulted in a reduction in the usage by seals of between 11 and 41% at the playback location. The significant decline in usage extended to 500 m from the playback location at which usage decreased by between 1 and 9% during playback. 5. Synthesis and applications:  This study provides important information for policy makers looking to assess the potential impacts of tidal turbines and advise on development of the tidal energy industry. Results showing that seals avoid tidal turbine sound suggest that a proportion of seals encountering tidal turbines will exhibit behavioural responses resulting in avoidance of physical injury; in practice, the empirical changes in usage can be used directly as avoidance rates when using collision risk models to predict the effects of tidal turbines on seals. There is now a clear need to measure how marine mammals behave in response to actual operating tidal turbines in the long term to learn whether marine mammals and tidal turbines can co-exist safely at the scales currently envisaged for the industry.

AB - 1.  Tidal stream energy converters (turbines) are currently being installed in tidally energetic coastal sites. However, there is currently a high level of uncertainty surrounding the potential environmental impacts on marine mammals. This is a key consenting risk to commercial introduction of tidal energy technology. Concerns derive primarily from the potential for injury to marine mammals through collisions with moving components of turbines. To understand the nature of this risk, information on how animals respond to tidal turbines is urgently required.2.  We measured the behaviour of harbour seals in response to acoustic playbacks of simulated tidal turbine sound within a narrow coastal channel subject to strong, tidally induced currents. This was carried out using data from animal-borne GPS tags and shore-based observations, which were analysed to quantify behavioural responses to the turbine sound.3.  Results showed that the playback state (silent control or turbine signal) was not a significant predictor of the overall number of seals sighted within the channel.4.  However, there was a localised impact of the turbine signal; tagged harbour seals exhibited significant spatial avoidance of the sound which resulted in a reduction in the usage by seals of between 11 and 41% at the playback location. The significant decline in usage extended to 500 m from the playback location at which usage decreased by between 1 and 9% during playback. 5. Synthesis and applications:  This study provides important information for policy makers looking to assess the potential impacts of tidal turbines and advise on development of the tidal energy industry. Results showing that seals avoid tidal turbine sound suggest that a proportion of seals encountering tidal turbines will exhibit behavioural responses resulting in avoidance of physical injury; in practice, the empirical changes in usage can be used directly as avoidance rates when using collision risk models to predict the effects of tidal turbines on seals. There is now a clear need to measure how marine mammals behave in response to actual operating tidal turbines in the long term to learn whether marine mammals and tidal turbines can co-exist safely at the scales currently envisaged for the industry.

KW - Collision risk

KW - Marine mammals

KW - Avoidance

KW - Renewable energy

KW - Pinnipeds

KW - Marine spatial planning

KW - Underwater noise

KW - Tidal turbines

KW - Behavioural responses

UR - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2664.12981/full#footer-support-info

U2 - 10.1111/1365-2664.12981

DO - 10.1111/1365-2664.12981

M3 - Article

VL - 55

SP - 684

EP - 693

JO - Journal of Applied Ecology

JF - Journal of Applied Ecology

SN - 0021-8901

IS - 2

ER -

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ID: 250569857