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Offshore Wind Farms Provide Seals With A Buffet

Originally published in the ECOreport.

Seal – Courtesy Marieke IJsendoorn-Kuijpers, CC by SA, 2.0

Seal by Marieke IJsendoorn-Kuijpers (CC BY-SA 2.0 license)

Offshore wind farms provide seals with a Buffet. The turbines are essentially an artificial reef. They became home to marine invertebrates, fish, crabs, lobsters, fouling animals, and plants. They have also caught the attention of at least 11 seals to forage around two facilities: Alpha Ventus in Germany and Sheringham Shoal off the southeast coast of Norfolk in the UK. It is not yet known whether this is a good thing.

There have been concerns about the possible damages that the turbines may cause the seals’ hearing.

Some have also questioned the wisdom of attracting too  many creatures into a relatively small area.

 Havvindparken Sheringham Shoal – Courtesy Harald Pettersen/Statoil, CC by SA, 2.0

Havvindparken Sheringham Shoal by Harald Pettersen/Statoil (CC BY-SA 2.0 license)

A study from the University of St. Andrews found that some of the seals being studied prefer staying close to turbines.

Dan Wilhelmsson of the Department of Zoology, Stockholm University, suggested wind turbines could be beneficial overall.

He said in a press release: “With wind and wave energy farms, it should be possible to create large areas with biologically productive reef structures, which would moreover be protected from bottom trawling. By carefully designing the foundations it would be possible to favour and protect important species or, conversely, to reduce the reef effects in order minimize the impact on an area.”

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Written By

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.


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