Use acoustic devices at renewable energy sites
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
There is the potential for marine and freshwater mammals to collide with renewable energy devices, such as underwater tidal turbines, or to become entangled in tethering lines and cables (Wilson et al. 2006). Acoustic devices may be used to deter marine or freshwater mammals from entering renewable energy sites. However, it should be noted that high amplitude acoustic devices may cause hearing damage to target and non-target mammal species, and may disrupt biologically important behaviour or exclude mammals from important habitats (Johnston 2002, Morton & Symonds 2002, Olesiuk et al. 2002, Götz & Janik 2013).
For a similar intervention, see Use acoustic devices at cooling water intake structures. For the use of acoustic devices during construction activities, such as pile driving, see Use acoustic devices to deter marine and freshwater mammals from an area to reduce noise exposure.
Götz T. & Janik V.M. (2013) Acoustic deterrent devices to prevent pinniped depredation: efficiency, conservation concerns and possible solutions. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 492, 285–302.
Johnston D.W. (2002) The effect of acoustic harassment devices on harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in the Bay of Fundy, Canada. Biological Conservation, 108, 113–118.
Morton A.B. & Symonds H.K. (2002) Displacement of Orcinus orca (L.) by high amplitude sound in British Columbia, Canada. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59, 71–80.
Olesiuk P.F., Nichol L.M., Sowden M.J. & Ford J.K.B. (2002) Effect of the sound generated by an acoustic harassment device on the relative abundance and distribution of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) in Retreat Passage, British Columbia. Marine Mammal Science, 18, 843–862.
Wilson, B. Batty, R. S., Daunt, F. & Carter, C. (2006) Collision risks between marine renewable energy devices and mammals, fish and diving birds. Report to the Scottish Executive. Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban.