The Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
To meet the growing demand for carbon-free energy sources, the European Union (EU) has ambitious plans to increase its capacity for generation of offshore wind power. The United Kingdom and The Netherlands, for example, plan to increase their offshore power-generating capacity to 33 and 6 GW, respectively, by the year 2020. Assuming that this power is generated entirely by wind and that a single wind turbine can generate up to 10 MW, at least 3,900 offshore turbines would be required by these two states alone to achieve this goal. A popular turbine construction method known as “pile driving” involves the use of hammering a steel cylinder (a “monopile”) into the seabed. A concern has arisen for the possible effect on mammals (Southall et al. 2007) and fish (Popper and Hastings 2009) of the sound produced by the succession of hammer impacts required to sink the pile to its required depth (tens of meters).
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