Key findings of Moray Firth Study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society
Gareth is co-author on this paper published yesterday under free access here. The team, including researchers from the University of Aberdeen, were looking at the impact on cetaceans of the noise generated by offshore energy developments. Passive acoustic monitoring and data from aerial surveys were used to study changes in the occurrence of Harbour Porpoise in a 2,000sqkm study area of the North Sea during a commercial two-dimensional seismic survey. The results concluded that prolonged seismic survey noise did not lead to broader scale displacement into suboptimal or higher-risk habitats. They suggested that impact assessments should focus on sublethal effects resulting in changes from foraging performance of animals near to affected sites.
Having conducted aerial surveys of the UK coast for nearly 20 years, we hold a lot of data on seabird and marine mammal populations and hope to continue to analyse and publish papers as more questions require answering.