Quantifying effects of offshore installations on biodiversity

Current State of the Art

Biodiversity is increasingly recognised as a fundamental aspect of a healthy ocean and a cornerstone for marine ecosystem services and a sustainable blue economy. Correspondingly, the importance of surveying and monitoring marine biodiversity is increasingly accepted. Currently this is done by means of identifying species in samples of water or sediment, and to some extent in images/videos. This time-consuming work requires highly trained specialists. Strict prioritising is necessary, in terms of species, sampling frequency and spatial cover. The detrimental effect on biodiversity from large scale and intense fisheries has been established, including from trawling. The same can be said about the effect from intensely trafficked seaways and ports, including from smaller boats and marinas. While the environment of the (shallow) offshore domain is now being transformed by the rapid expansion of permanent installations in the shape of wind farms, very little is known about the effects on biodiversity by offshore installations.

C2B2 advance beyond the State of the Art

C2B2 will address this gap by providing baselines for biodiversity and realistic methods for effective monitoring during the full life cycle of offshore wind farms. C2B2 will show how data intense and broad sampling methods (like eDNA and video analysis using AI) will allow for quantification of possible detrimental effects on biodiversity during construction, operation and decommissioning. It will also allow quantification of the much speculated about possible positive effects on biodiversity from wind farms, by the introduction of hard surfaces (artificial reefs) and by shifting spatial usage away from detrimental fisheries and shipping.


Contact persons

Mats Lindegart

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