NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Aerial Surveys of Seabirds in the Dutch North Sea May 2010 – April 2011

Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2011
Pagination277 pp.
InstitutionBureau Waardenburg bv
TypeResearch Report

The objective for offshore wind energy in the Dutch part of the North Sea is 6,000 MW and for future wind farm developments search areas have been defined. The concessions for the future development of offshore wind farms to be issued will be accompanied by a set of regulations with regards to prevent possible adverse ecological effects. Although these regulations will depend on the specific location of each concession, proper formulation of such regulations requires structural knowledge of the occurrence of specific species through the year in the entire Dutch Continental Shelf area. For a proper estimation of the potential ecological impacts of building, exploiting and decommissioning of offshore wind farms, a vast amount of ecological information is required. Gathering ecological information at sea is expensive and takes time.

The Dutch government has commissioned a task group of different institutes to develop a ‘Masterplan Ecologische Monitoring Lange Termijn Wind op Zee’. The masterplan identified gaps in the knowledge associated with the ecological impact of offshore wind farms, and laid out a plan to fill these gaps. A number of research projects were identified to fill high-priority knowledge gaps, be available even before the first concessions are to be issued, called the Shortlist Masterplan. The aim of the Shortlist Masterplan project is to fill existing knowledge gaps in order to come to a better-informed set of general and location-specific permit requirements for the concessions to be appointed for development of offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea. The following high priority knowledge project were assessed; the presence and distribution of fish eggs and larvae, the mortality effect of the sound and pressure waves generated by piling of turbine foundations on larval fish, the spatiotemporal distribution and density estimates of Harbour Porpoises, the distribution of seabirds over the Dutch North Sea (this study), effects of the planned offshore wind farm concessions on breeding Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and measurement of threshold sound intensity at which a Temporary Threshold Shift occurs in harbour porpoises and harbour seals.

Full TextFull text available from publisher
TagsNetherlands; North Sea; Offshore Wind; Scoters; Divers; Gannets; Cormorants; Fulmars; Skuas; Kittiwakes; Gulls; Black-Backed Gulls; Terns; Guillemots; Razorbills; Auks; Porpoises; Seals; Dolphins; Whales; 2011; Report