Published on December 10th, 2012 | by Jake Richardson5
Offshore Wind Benefits Sea Life
Sometimes there’s mention in the press that wind farms harm wildlife. Typically, though these articles reference the damage done to bird and bats on land. What seems to get less mention in mass media is the potential benefit for sea creatures provided by offshore wind farms.
A research study conducted by the Marine Institute at Plymouth University found that offshore wind farms can provide benefits to fish, namely because they can function as shelters (since sea bottom trawling is not allowed inside wind farms). It seems a little ironic that one human-made technology can protect fish from the very invasive and destructive practice of using technology for sea-bottom trawling.
The study’s lead author wrote, “It is necessary to rapidly deploy large quantities of marine renewable energy to reduce the carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning which are leading to ocean acidification, global warming and climatic changes. Done well and sensitively its deployment could be beneficial to marine wildlife compared to the alternative scenario of greater levels of climate change.” (Source: Friends of the Earth)
Another potential benefit for offshore wind farms is they can provide structures for blue mussels and some crab species.
Objections have been made over the ‘spoiling’ of coastal views by offshore wind. However, such farms can be located very far from coastlines and in areas where there are not dense concentrations of people. Furthermore, it clearly is better to reduce climate change emissions than to preserve something as subjective as a pleasing view. Additionally, marine life and the oceans are suffering due to ocean acidification, which is tied directly to human-made carbon emissions.