SeaMaST (Seabird Mapping and Sensitivity Tool) commissioned by Natural England and the Marine Management Organisation has just been released
A new Geographic Information System (GIS) tool, called SeaMaST (Seabird Mapping and Sensitivity Tool), commissioned by Natural England (NE) and the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has just been released. The tool was developed with WWT Consulting and MacArthur Green. It maps sensitivity of seabirds to the wind farm impacts of collision and displacement in English territorial waters, with methods that can be transferred to other areas and impacts.
SeaMaST is an important new tool for assessing potential impacts on seabird populations from offshore development at a time when multiple large areas of development are proposed which overlap with many seabird species’ ranges. It will inform marine spatial planning as well as identifying priority areas of sea usage by marine birds. The tool can be used by developers and statutory agencies alike, such as providing information on existing knowledge of seabird distribution and the confidence associated with that knowledge for Environmental Impact Assessments and to contextualise the significance of potential impacts.