Understanding How Marine Renewable Device Operations Influence Fine Scale Habitat Use and Behaviour of Marine Vertebrates (RESPONSE)

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Sch of Energy, Environment and Agrifood

Abstract

With the rapid development and imminent deployment of tidal and wave devices and the expansion of offshore wind power there is a pressing need to understand how marine wildlife is going to be affected by these developments. Existing regulations and mitigation measures are based on assumed effects. Lack of information means that the regulations may be either too onerous and recommended mitigation measures may be unnecessary or ineffective. There is a clear need to improve our understanding of how animals perceive and respond to devices and how these responses affect their behaviour, distribution and ultimately fitness.
The RESPONSE project is a multi-disciplinary study focussing on causal links between marine renewable devices (MRD) and changes in the fine-scale distribution and behaviour of marine vertebrates. The overall aim of the project is to identify and quantify actual risk of negative consequences and therefore remove one key layer of uncertainty in the scale of risk to the industry and natural environment.
The main objectives are to:
1. understand how stakeholders see the risks to the industry and to the environment.
2. measure the fine scale distribution of marine wildlife in high tidal and wave energy sites to understand how seals, cetaceans, birds and
large fish use such areas.
3. characterise acoustic, visual and electromagnetic signals that MRDs produce and assess the reactions of marine wildlife to those cues.
4. use the results in habitat preference models to infer zones of influence and avoidance associated with MRDs at both small and large
scales.
5. develop effective mitigation methods

We will achieve these objectives through a set of inter-related sub projects that will:-
1. bring together a UK wide group of regulators, conservation groups and industry to assess the perception of risk to the industry and
environment posed by negative interactions with marine wildlife.
2. use novel, high resolution GPS transmitters for seals and state of the art passive acoustics, active sonar and visual observation techniques
for porpoises, seabirds and fish to record details of their habitat use and behaviour in and around operational wave and tidal test sites and
an un-developed high energy tide site. These studies will be co-ordinated with FLOWBEC, another NERC/Defra funded project monitoring
the physical characteristics of the marine environment at these high energy sites
3. carryout a programme of physical measurements to characterise the outputs of MRDs that have a potential to cause disturbance to marine
wildlife.
4. carry out a series of controlled exposure/behaviour response trials with captive seals and with wild free ranging seals and porpoises.
5. use visual and acoustic observation data and the operating schedules of existing MRDs to assess the responses of seabirds to MRD
operations.
The results of 1 to 5 will be used to describe the effects of MRDs on individual animals over the short term, i.e. how they react to the stimuli, and over the medium to long term, i.e. how they change their movements and behaviour in response to exposure to the stimuli. These results will be used as direct input to the EBAO project, another NERC/Defra funded project modeling the potential impacts of large scale arrays of MRDs.
This project will provide a step change in knowledge about the existence and importance of adverse effects of MRDs and provide an ability to predict impacts of

Planned Impact

Please see the main proposal.
 
Description This study has provided new perspectives of the issue of marine vertebrate interactions with wave and tidal technologies and the risk management challenges the pose across the wave and tidal sector. The results have identified that poor understanding of marine vertebrate interactions represents a key challenge affecting regulators, advisory bodies, device manufacturers and site developers, and a major threat to the development of wave and tidal energy.
Exploitation Route The new NERC Innovation award, VertIBase - Supporting evidence-based decision-making on marine vertebrate interactions with wave and tidal energy technologies through improve evidence and guidance (NE/N01765X/1) will embed the results from the project in organisations involved in the wave and tidal sector. These include regulators, wave and tidal technology and site developers, environmental consultancies and industry trade bodies.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Construction,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description The results are being used in the new VertIBase - Supporting evidence-based decision-making on marine vertebrate interactions with wave and tidal energy technologies through improve evidence and guidance (NE/N01765X/1) project, which will embed them in organisations involved in the development and regulation of wave and tidal technologies. The research has been used to support a range of non-academic impacts, including: The development of new marine environmental risk assessment frameworks for the Marine Management Organisation. Skills and training needs for the marine industry through the membership of the EU MATES project Expert Panel.
First Year Of Impact 2011
Sector Construction,Energy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Guidelines for Marine Environmental Risk Assessment that are now used in marine consenting processes by. the Marine Management Organisation and organisations in the marine environment
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
Impact The Guidelines for Marine Environmental Risk Assessment were produced to support improved consenting of marine activities in relation to the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, which has resulted in the development of Marine Plans. The Guidelines now form part of the consenting process and review process associated with any activity in the marine environment, from deploying a buoy to applying to build an offshore wind farm. It has not only lead to upskilling of regulators, statutory advisory bodies, practitioners and industry in environmental risk assessment, but has led to improved decision-making in the regulatory process
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/marine-management-organisation
 
Description Membership of Expert Panel for EU Maritime Alliance for fostering the European Blue Economy through a Marine Technology Skilling Strategy
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Simon Jude is a member of the Expert Panel for the EU Maritime Alliance for fostering the European Blue Economy through a Marine Technology Skilling Strategy (MATES) Erasumus+ project. He has been providing expert input on skills gaps surrounding environmental risk, marine planning and marine renewable energy development, particularly in relation to the need to up-skill and develop new training for postgraduate students. MATES at a Glance PROGRAMME: Erasmus+ INSTRUMENT: Sector Skills Alliances (SSA) TOTAL BUDGET: €4.9 million DURATION: January 2018 - December 2021 (48 months) COORDINATOR: Centro Tecnológico del Mar (­­­Fundación CETMAR), Spain CONSORTIUM: 17 partners from eight countries Objectives MATES' objective is to develop a skills strategy that addresses the main drivers of change to the maritime industry, in particular shipbuilding and offshore renewable energy. Both sectors are strongly linked and require new capacities to succeed in an increasingly digital, green and knowledge driven economy. As a transversal line of action, MATES will carry out a robust dissemination and outreach plan. This aims to increase the attractiveness of the maritime industry, particularly careers in the shipbuilding and offshore renewable energy sectors, while also ensuring future adoption of the strategy. MATES will validate actions and priorities suggested by the skills strategy through the setup of 11 pilot case studies. These case studies will test the MATES concepts on digital skills, green skills, mobility, innovation management, curricula development and ocean literacy. Furthermore, the project will widen perceptions of Ocean Literacy initiatives by embedding an appropriate industrial perspective. It will spread an updated image for the maritime industry and send out a convincing message concerning the high-tech and long-term future of the maritime sector. Expected results and impact Development of a long-term Strategy and Action Plan to tackle the current and future skills shortages. Establishment and involvement of a Europe-wide network of projects, initiatives, organisations and experts. Identification of future skills and competence needs and the development of corresponding training and curricula. Greater alignment of industry needs and occupational profiles with training and curricula. Validation of training and education pathways for effectively increasing employability and career opportunities. Successful completion of 11 Pilot Experiences and identification of recommendations for the long-term strategy. Targeted industries better equipped to respond to challenges posed by digital, data and green technologies, through access to a more qualified labour force. Greater resilience in the maritime job market and the safeguarding of stable employment in the shipbuilding and offshore renewable energy sectors. A more competitive European maritime industry with increased attractiveness of maritime careers for graduates and early-career skilled workers. Transfer and exploitation of knowledge in support of Blue Growth.
URL https://www.projectmates.eu/about/about/
 
Description Training of researchers and policymakers - testing new technologies
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Supported the training and travel of researchers for a research cruise on the MSS vessel Scotia at the MeyGen site (Pentland Firth, Stroma) July 2018, 20-25. Survey tested investigation of new methods for use of drones to assess potential changes to seabird and mammal foraging areas and issues of disturbance and displacement. The ultimate purpose being the reduction of costs of surveys for the renewables industry.
 
Description Investigation of the novel challenges of an integrated offshore multi-purpose platform
Amount £766,238 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R007497/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2017 
End 07/2018
 
Description Investigation of the novel challenges of an integrated offshore multi-purpose platform
Amount £574,901 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R007497/2 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2018 
End 07/2020
 
Description NERC Industrial CASE studentship - Marine climate change and cumulative effects
Amount £18,000 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/L009668/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 10/2017
 
Description NERC Industrial CASE studentship Marine climate change and cumulative effects
Amount £83,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2014 
End 10/2017
 
Description NERC Innovation
Amount £124,195 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N01765X/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 04/2018
 
Description NERC Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme
Amount £50,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2012 
 
Description NERC/ESRC Big Data, Risk and Mitigation CDT - Centre for Doctoral Training for Data, Risk and Environmental Analytical Methods (DREAM
Amount £2,500,000 (GBP)
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 09/2021
 
Description Conference presentation - NERC/KTN Challenges and opportunities of renewable energy conference, Westminster, 20th June 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation of NERC RESPONSE and Marine Renewable Knowledge Exchange Programme marine renewable energy environmental risk research at the NERC/KTN Challenges and opportunities in renewable energy conference in Westminster. The audience comprised academics, practitioners, industry representatives and wider stakeholders and led to debate regarding marine environmental risks and their impact on consenting processes. The presentation also fed into the discussion and idea session, which resulted in the development of a Highlight Topic submitted to the NERC SPAG. The presentation also resulted in new contacts being made with industry and practitioners, particularly the Chair of the Offshore Renewable Energy Joint Industry Programme, which has resulted in dialogue and engagement in relation to the VertIBase project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.nerc.ac.uk/latest/events/list/renewables2016/
 
Description First Scottish Marine Energy Research (ScotMer) Programme Symposium: POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS OF MARINE RENEWABLES AND SEABIRDS - STRATEGIC RESEARCH FOR SCOTLAND 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact First Scottish Marine Energy Research (ScotMer) Programme Symposium: POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS OF MARINE RENEWABLES AND SEABIRDS - STRATEGIC RESEARCH
FOR SCOTLAND

Marine Scotland - Scottish Government, Victoria Quay, Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ

International policymakers, practitioners and academics developing a strategic research programme for Scotland on the potential interactions of marine renewables and seabirds. Participants included:

Jared Wilson
Paul Wheelhouse MSP
Phil Gilmour Bob Furness
Francis Daunt
Pia Ricca Marianna Chimienti
Kate Searle Aonghais Cook
Adam Butler
Liz Humphreys
Ross McGregor & Carl Donovan
Robin Ward
Janelle Braithwaite & Jared Wilson
Ian Davies
Marine Scotland Science
Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands
Marine Scotland MacArthur Green
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
University of Aberdeen and McGill University
Aarhus University
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
British Trust for Ornithology
Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland
British Trust for Ornithology
HiDef Aerial Surveying Ltd. & DMP Statistical Solutions UK ltd
NIRAS Consulting Ltd
Marine Scotland & Marine Scotland Science
Marine Scotland Science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Joint VertiBase, Marine Alliance for Science and Technology and Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme workshop hosted by Marine Scotland Science at the Scottish Government, Edinburgh 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland (MASTS) Marine Renewable Energy Forum and Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) and the VertIBase NERC KE project held a one day workshop atMarine Scotland Science (MSS) Victoria Quay, Edinburgh on Monday 20th February 2017 .

This was a focused workshop with a selected group of invited participants from UK Research Councils, Industry, European and UK Government Advisors & Regulators, Enterprise and Researchers and is the follow on of the MASTS/ORJIP workshop held in Glasgow, Oct 18, 2016

The aim of this second workshop was s 2 fold:
The 1st Aim is entitled Science translation for Industry/Regulators/Funders/Public: How best should the science communities be presenting new information? Active researchers from the VertlBase project (and more) will provide brief overviews of current results as examples of science translation. Facilitated and open discussion will be used to produce agreed methods, and processes to improve science translation between science providers, science funders and science users. In particular, opportunities for practitioners to engage with the VertIBase project were scoped to ensure that the project engages with end users and produces output that meet their needs.

The 2nd AIM was entitled: Making it Happen: Environmental related research from identification, though funding to translation to industry and policy. There will be updates from Industry, Funders and advances in the process of the development of an ORE environmental R&D strategy for the UK. Facilitated worked examples from multi-disciplinary research identification, to successful funding, through to translation of science will provide the ingredients for open debate across sectors on the best way forward to implement processes that entrench the importance of environmental research into future roadmaps for the marine renewable industry.

A number of future opportunities for VertIbase to engage with practitioners and regulators were identified as were future research proposals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Jude, S.R. (2014) Potential Marine Vertebrate Interaction Risks and Challenges. Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies International Conference, Stornoway, 2014. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Jude, S.R. (2014) Potential Marine Vertebrate Interaction Risks and Challenges. Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies International Conference, Stornoway, 2014.

Conference presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.issmer-network.org
 
Description Lunchtime seminar on Marine renewable energy risks at Swansea University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Lunchtime seminar on marine Marine renewable energy risks at the Department of Biosciences, Swansea University. Resulted in debate and discussion regarding the potential hazards and risks associated with marine renewables developments and future collaborations with researchers in the department, including the SEACAMS project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Managing Risk: from generic risk management to developer's perspectives. Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies International Conference, Stornoway, 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Co-charied Managing Risk: from generic risk management to developer's perspectives. Special workshop at the Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies International Conference, Stornoway, 2014. 30 international participants spanning industry, government, academia attended, with the workshop identifying key research challenges in the area of environmental risks associated with the development of the marine renewable energy sector.

Although the technological risks associated with deployment of wave and tidal energy devices have attracted significant attention, environmental, social and economic risks potentially contribute an important role in the development of projects. Consequently, it may be beneficial for the industry to share a comprehensive risk register for risks which affect all developers, and address the problems collectively. This workshop encouraged discussion between industry and academic stakeholders, and evaluated the relative importance of these types of risk, based on research and experience from deployment of the first generation of wave and tidal projects.

The workshop combined both a series of presentations on a range of risk issues facing the MRE industry and a highly interactive session, which stimulated debate and identified the key risk management challenges facing MRE development and future research needs and priorities. We subsequently plan to produce a short report or journal paper based on the findings of the workshop, with the aim of simulating further interest in the risk management challenges associated with the development of MRE.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Marine Alliance Science Technology Scotland (MASTS) workshop Conducting Fieldwork in Tidal Stream sites, Edinburgh 2nd November 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact MASTS workshop Conducting Fieldwork in Tidal Stream sites, Edinburgh 2nd November 2018 (Prof Beth Scott and Dr Benjamin Williamson Attended), 32 academics, technicians, technologists and marine renewable energy developers attended the Technology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow to discuss the challenges faced conducting fieldwork in energetic tidal stream sites.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Offshore Renewable Energy Catapault, July 17 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact 2) ORE Catapult (London), July 17 2019, Prof Beth Scott Attended
Purpose & Outcomes
The purpose of the workshop will be to link UK research strengths to demand for innovation in offshore renewable energy by:
• Identifying innovation areas for academic research that could support offshore renewable energy
• Prioritising innovation areas using criteria of LCOE potential, UK Benefit, and Case for Intervention
• Linking academic challenges and innovation areas to the innovation demand identified in the OWIH roadmaps
The outcomes of the workshop will be a set of identified & prioritised research areas that will:
• Identify opportunities for collaboration between academia and the ORE industry
• Feed into the OWIH innovation roadmaps, informing Government, funding bodies and industry where support for academic research can contribute to achieving the ambitions of the ORE sector
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme and Annex 4 workshop on Exploring the State of Understanding and Practice used to Assess Social and Economic Risks and Benefits of Marine Renewable Energy Development 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Attendance at the Ocean Energy Systems Annex IV (Annex IV) and the UK Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) for Ocean Energy workshop in Cork on the afternoon of Thursday 31st August 2017 onsite at the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (EWTEC).

The aim of this workshop is to bring together regulators, stakeholders, industry, and researchers to examine social and economic issues at two levels.

1. The overall framework needed to progress data collection and analysis which will identify gaps in knowledge and tools;
2. The practical aspects and tools available/required to assess, monitor and manage social and economic risks and benefits to inform the permitting process and longer-term stakeholder and community engagement during the build-out and operation of marine energy developments.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Plymouth Marine Lab presentation on Vertibase 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Lunchtime seminar at Plymouth Marine Laboratory on the findings from the NERC RESPONSE project and Vertibase project. Has resulted in plans for future engagement and research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at National Ocean Technology Centre, State Oceanographic Administration, Tianjin, China 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited presentation at the National Ocean Technology Centre Tianjin on marine environmental risk and policymaking, including an overview of the Vertibase and RESPONSE projects. Resulted in discussions regarding policy development, evidence needs and widened appreciation of marine environmental risk and associated evidence and policy needs in the UK. Has resulted in planned further discussions in China this year.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation on Vertibase project to Marine Energy Wales meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation to the Marine Energy Wales group on the NERC Vertibase project and the findings from the RESPONSE projects, notable the hazards and risks associated with potential marine vertebrate interactions with wave and tidal energy devices/developments, and opportunities to engage with the Vertibase project. The presentation was to ~30 members, spanning practitioners, policymakers, financiers, regulators, and marine industries. The presentation has resulted in further engagement with academics, policy makers, industry and regulators, with plans to hold a further workshop planned. It also led to a separate meeting with the SEACAMs project and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to Marine Management Organisation Evidence team 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation of findings from the RESPONSE and NERC Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Programme - Review of the current methods and tools to support policy development and decision making in relation to managing environmental risk and uncertainty in the marine renewable energy sector to the evidence and data teams at the Marine Management Organisation. Resulted in discussions regarding the use of the findings by the MMO and future research collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016