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

Lead Research Organisation: University of St Andrews
Department Name: Biology

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

The environmental impact of marine renewable energy installation, operation and decommissioning on fine scale habitat use and behaviour of marine vertebrates are largely unknown. The benefits of marine renewable energy industry development therefore have to be appropriately balanced against the potential environmental consequences. The RESPONSE project brings together a highly specialised multi-disciplinary team to address these issues. The overarching outcomes of the research effort will directly impact policy makers, regulatory agencies and the marine renewable energy community through the provision of enhanced scientific evidence and development of best-practise methodologies.

Providing a robust evidence base relating behavioural response and habitat use to marine renewable energy activities will enable regulators to make informed decisions regarding the suitability of marine renewable energy development, and enable appropriate consideration of the need for constraints, monitoring and mitigation measures to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Regulatory bodies will therefore be the primary beneficiaries from the research outputs. Understanding the causal stressor-receptor relationships between marine renewable energy activities, fine scale habitat use and marine vertebrate behaviour will also enable technology and project developers to design identified stressor activities out of their system. Example stressors could include noise pollution, physical interaction with rotating turbine blades and the presence of devices introducing new structures in the water column. The impact of each stressor will depend upon the receptor under consideration. An example might be that the presence of an array of devices acts as a no fish take zone (a potential positive benefit). However if the secondary response is to encourage marine vertebrates or diving birds to increase foraging rates in the region, that could lead to increased risk of physical interaction with rotating machinery. Understanding complex stressor-receptor causal relationships is therefore of paramount importance.

The secondary beneficiaries from the RESPONSE project will include:
Wider society through environmental benefit: A developing marine renewable sector will inevitably displace fossil fuel consumption both at home and abroad leading to a reduction in the release of environmentally harmful greenhouse gases (GHG). Reducing GHG emissions will have a direct impact on societal health and well-being. If displacement of carbon-based fuel consumption can be associated with technology that is locally benign, then the benefit will be further increased.
The marine renewable development community: Providing a robust scientific evidence base to enable appropriate regulatory decisions to be made regarding marine energy industry growth and upscaling will remove barriers to industry development. Additionally, providing evidentiary pathways to appropriate mitigation strategies will enable industry to address potential negative environmental impacts through appropriate design modifications. Identifying positive environmental benefits associated with marine renewable energy would also enhance the case for industry expansion.
The UK economy: The energy industry represents 3.7% of GDP in the UK economy. If viable growth can be achieved, the marine renewable sector offers opportunities to maintain the vibrancy of the UK energy industry as the oil and gas sector decreases. Additionally, the UK economy would directly benefit from revenue generation and enhanced security of energy supply provided by generation of indigenous electricity through operation of marine renewable energy technologies. The potential for development of export markets for UK technology and expertise would also have a positive impact on UK GDP, benefit local (often rural) communities and provide significant potential for job creation.
 
Description Our work under the RESPONSE project was an investigation of the potential effects of tidal turbines on seals. We achieved this through a study of the movements and dive behaviour of seals in areas of high tidal energy and a series of behavioural response trials with wild, free ranging seals to assess reactions to turbine noise and with captive seals to assess the energetic/foraging costds of such responses.
The results of the wild seal tracking study highlighted a set of completely unexpected behaviours in a population of harbour seals using the tidal rapids at Kyle Rhea. The seals exhibited haulout schedules that were 1800 out of phase with normal patterns, and concentration of foraging efforts in a very small area of the tidal channel during periods with the maximum flow rates during flood tides. This atypical behaviour has the effect of dramatically increasing the density of seals and number of transits through an area designated as a future tidal turbine array site (Hastie et al. 2016). The results of this study show that conventional collision risk model (CRM) estimates for this site would dramatically underestimate the risk to seals.
Play back experiments to the same telemetry tagged seals, using a synthesised tidal turbine signal in the same high tidal flow site produced a significant avoidance response within 500m of the sound source. This unexpected result would have the effect of reducing the collision rate estimates (Hastie et al, 2017 Applied Ecology). The avoidance was not absolute, suggesting that seals were able to withstand the noise.
Playbacks of the same signals to harbour seals in a captive facility with quasi-realistic foraging conditions elicited similar partial avoidance behaviour. In an experimental design where seals were exposed to sounds close to foraging sites of different value we were able to show that the responses reduced their foraging efficiency.
These results have interesting and important implications for the developing tidal energy industry. Collisions are seen as the main threat and precautionary conservation regulations are in fact restricting permitting of tidal turbine deployments in the UK. Our results indicate that in some situations the number of seals exposed to such risks may have been underestimated, but that the actual collision risk for individuals may have been overestimated. As a spin off from this project we have been involved in a detailed revision of CRM and inclusion of local/small scale variability in animal density is now incorporated in these models.
Exploitation Route The projects results have been incorporated in a revised collision risk estimation (Band et al 2016) which is a major step in permitting of tidal turbine developments. Dissemination of results is being pursued through a NERC funded KE project Vertlbase that aims to establish direct links with end-users. The first Vertlbase workshop was held in March 2017.
Results are also transmitted directly to regulators through SMRU's role as statutory advisors on seal management issues and directly to stakeholders through presentations at workshops and industry meetings. As a direct consequence of the RESPONSE results we have been asked by Scottish Government to provide detailed dive behaviour descriptors for a number of up-coming tidal turbine deployments in the Pentland Firth.
Sectors Energy,Environment

 
Description The results of playback trials in the wild highlighted a specific avoidance behaviour in response to acoustic output from a tidal turbine. Captive studies showed that these responses have a direct impact on foraging efficiency. The observed behaviour will reduce collision risks but at a cost and may simultaneously increase risks of habitat exclusion. These two conflicting effects are now being taken into account in assessing collision risk. Results have been widely disseminated to the regulatory authorities and the uptake and use of this information by regulators and industry is being enhanced through the NERC funded Vertlbase project. Results were incorporated into a detailed review and revision of collision risk models requested by Scottish Government and published as a comprehensive report (Band et al 2016). The acceptance that detailed fine resolution information is required for realistic assessmentof collision risk led to a collaboration between the RESPONSE project and a Marine Scotland funded study in the Pentland Firth at the first commercila array site. This is using the telemetry system developed under RESPONSE and has been expanded to include detailed studies of both seal and sea bird movements around tidal energy devices.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Energy,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Participation in a review of and revision of advice on collision risk estimation for Marine Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact Development of a series of advice documents on methods for estimating collision risks between marine mammals and tidal turbines. This is currently a major permitting hurdle for the marine tidal energy industry in the UK. As a consequence of the NERC funded research programmes SMRU were asked to particiapte in a complete overhaul of the collision risk modelling process. The new advice was published in 2016.
 
Description provision of data and advice on collision risk for marine mammals and marine renewable devices.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Effects of tidal turbines on the movements of marine predators in tidally energetic areas
Amount £180,000 (GBP)
Funding ID MMSS/011/11 xgv011 Ardersier interaction between seals and industrial activities 
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2015 
End 11/2016
 
Description Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland PhD studentship: title Effects of tidal turbines on the movements of marine predators in tidally energetic areas
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2015 
End 10/2019
 
Description Marine Mammal Strategic Research Programme
Amount £185,000 (GBP)
Funding ID MMSS/001/11 xgv001 Topics MR7 and MR8 
Organisation Government of Scotland 
Department Marine Scotland Directorate
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2012 
End 02/2015
 
Description NERC Risk Innovation Funding Call
Amount £21,500 (GBP)
Funding ID NE/N01765X/1 
Organisation Natural Environment Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2016 
End 03/2018
 
Description Stategic Environmental Assement
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department of Energy and Climate Change 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2012 
End 01/2014
 
Title Real time tracking and behavioural observation methods for behavioural response trials 
Description In order to test harbour seals' responses to aversive sounds at known ranges and in different foraging/travelling states we developed a purpose built UHF real-time-tracking (RTT) system capable of simultaneously tracking multiple targets. Animal-borne tags captured GPS snapshots whenever the seals surfaced. These were processed using the Fastloc algorithm and retransmitted by UHF telemetry (869.4-869.65MHz) when the seal next surfaced. Data were also stored in the tags and downloaded when animals hauled out within line of sight of a terrestrial base-station. The receiving system comprised a cluster of four base stations with directional antennas at 90o to each other. Accurate GPS locations were decoded in real time from most transmission, but for undecipherable signals the relative signal strengths from the four antennas provided an approximate bearing. GPS locations of seals within range and the vessel's current position were viewed in near real time using Google Earth. Static maps covering the study site were preloaded and cached on a laptop. A Zend Framework PHP application, converted the most recent seal and vessel locations into dynamic KML files that were then streamed to a Google-Earth 3D display. The combination of two way communications between the tags and the base stations and multiple methods for retrieving data from bases stations and tags resulted in a system that was flexible and adaptable. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - mammalian in vivo 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The system was deployed in 2013 and 2014 to track 23 harbour seals. With the anntennas mounted at ~6m on a sailing vessel , seals could be tracked at ranges of up to16 km. A total of 113 Behavioural Response Trials with Acoustic Deterrent Devicess were successfully completed in 5 weeks of boat tracking. This has led to the acceptance by the UK Statutory Nature Conservation Agencies and Government Licencing authorities of ADDs as an effective mitigation for pile driving impacts on seals. 
 
Title Data from: Harbour seals avoid tidal turbine noise: implications for collision risk 
Description  
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? Yes  
 
Description Marine Tidal Energy Renewables Demonstration Project 
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution A UHF/GPS Tracking system developed for the RESPONSE project is being deployed to track both seals and seabirds in conjunction with Scottish Government funded studies of fine scale interactions between marine wildlife and tidal turbine devices. The input from the NERC RESPONSE team will allow tracking of two of the main diving marine predators (harbour seals and Shags) in the vicinity of tidal turbines and provide fine temporal and spatial resolution information on the long term distribution and movement patterns of those individuals.
Collaborator Contribution Marine Scotland are funding a major demonstration project for monitoring the interactions of marine wildlife with tidal turbines to coincide with the deployment of the world's first array of tidal turbines in the Pentland Firth. The collaborating partners are Sea Mammal Research Unit, Universtiy of St Andrews; SMRU Consulting; MEYGEN Ltd (Tidal Energy Developer) and Marine Scotland. Marine Scotland are the main funding body, but are also partners, involved in the project development and contributing to the project through the steering group. MEYGEN provide the study platform and have collaborated in integrating a complex sensor package, data transfer and power supply system into the turbine structure. MEYGEN have also provided the main logistical support for deploying the systems. The SMRU and SMRU consulting team have developed short range passive and active acoustic monitoring and video monitoring systems.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration involving seal and seabird biologists, marine mammal acousticians, active-sonar developers, tidal turbine developers and marine engineers. The developments to date include design, construction of a high resolution marine animal tracking and detection system for stand-alone, long-term use in an extremely energetic tidal environment in the Pentland Firth. This entailed development and testing of an integrated active-sonar, passive acoustic and video monitoring system and associated power and data transfer interfaces as well as a purpose built, stable, seabed platform integrated with a tidal turbine. The system was deployed in November 2016, the associated turbine was deployed in February 2017 and the system is due to be connected in March 2017. An initial deployment of 10 UHF/GPS transmitters on harbour seals was carried out in October 2016 in advance of the turbine deployment. A network of recording UHF base stations has been set up and is being regularly downloaded to provide detailed swimming tracks and dive profiles of the seals swimming in the Pentland Firth. This represents the initial stages of this collaboration and specific outputs in the form of publications will become available during 2017-2018.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Marine Tidal Energy Renewables Demonstration Project 
Organisation MeyGen
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution A UHF/GPS Tracking system developed for the RESPONSE project is being deployed to track both seals and seabirds in conjunction with Scottish Government funded studies of fine scale interactions between marine wildlife and tidal turbine devices. The input from the NERC RESPONSE team will allow tracking of two of the main diving marine predators (harbour seals and Shags) in the vicinity of tidal turbines and provide fine temporal and spatial resolution information on the long term distribution and movement patterns of those individuals.
Collaborator Contribution Marine Scotland are funding a major demonstration project for monitoring the interactions of marine wildlife with tidal turbines to coincide with the deployment of the world's first array of tidal turbines in the Pentland Firth. The collaborating partners are Sea Mammal Research Unit, Universtiy of St Andrews; SMRU Consulting; MEYGEN Ltd (Tidal Energy Developer) and Marine Scotland. Marine Scotland are the main funding body, but are also partners, involved in the project development and contributing to the project through the steering group. MEYGEN provide the study platform and have collaborated in integrating a complex sensor package, data transfer and power supply system into the turbine structure. MEYGEN have also provided the main logistical support for deploying the systems. The SMRU and SMRU consulting team have developed short range passive and active acoustic monitoring and video monitoring systems.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration involving seal and seabird biologists, marine mammal acousticians, active-sonar developers, tidal turbine developers and marine engineers. The developments to date include design, construction of a high resolution marine animal tracking and detection system for stand-alone, long-term use in an extremely energetic tidal environment in the Pentland Firth. This entailed development and testing of an integrated active-sonar, passive acoustic and video monitoring system and associated power and data transfer interfaces as well as a purpose built, stable, seabed platform integrated with a tidal turbine. The system was deployed in November 2016, the associated turbine was deployed in February 2017 and the system is due to be connected in March 2017. An initial deployment of 10 UHF/GPS transmitters on harbour seals was carried out in October 2016 in advance of the turbine deployment. A network of recording UHF base stations has been set up and is being regularly downloaded to provide detailed swimming tracks and dive profiles of the seals swimming in the Pentland Firth. This represents the initial stages of this collaboration and specific outputs in the form of publications will become available during 2017-2018.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Marine Tidal Energy Renewables Demonstration Project 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department Sea Mammal Research Unit
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution A UHF/GPS Tracking system developed for the RESPONSE project is being deployed to track both seals and seabirds in conjunction with Scottish Government funded studies of fine scale interactions between marine wildlife and tidal turbine devices. The input from the NERC RESPONSE team will allow tracking of two of the main diving marine predators (harbour seals and Shags) in the vicinity of tidal turbines and provide fine temporal and spatial resolution information on the long term distribution and movement patterns of those individuals.
Collaborator Contribution Marine Scotland are funding a major demonstration project for monitoring the interactions of marine wildlife with tidal turbines to coincide with the deployment of the world's first array of tidal turbines in the Pentland Firth. The collaborating partners are Sea Mammal Research Unit, Universtiy of St Andrews; SMRU Consulting; MEYGEN Ltd (Tidal Energy Developer) and Marine Scotland. Marine Scotland are the main funding body, but are also partners, involved in the project development and contributing to the project through the steering group. MEYGEN provide the study platform and have collaborated in integrating a complex sensor package, data transfer and power supply system into the turbine structure. MEYGEN have also provided the main logistical support for deploying the systems. The SMRU and SMRU consulting team have developed short range passive and active acoustic monitoring and video monitoring systems.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration involving seal and seabird biologists, marine mammal acousticians, active-sonar developers, tidal turbine developers and marine engineers. The developments to date include design, construction of a high resolution marine animal tracking and detection system for stand-alone, long-term use in an extremely energetic tidal environment in the Pentland Firth. This entailed development and testing of an integrated active-sonar, passive acoustic and video monitoring system and associated power and data transfer interfaces as well as a purpose built, stable, seabed platform integrated with a tidal turbine. The system was deployed in November 2016, the associated turbine was deployed in February 2017 and the system is due to be connected in March 2017. An initial deployment of 10 UHF/GPS transmitters on harbour seals was carried out in October 2016 in advance of the turbine deployment. A network of recording UHF base stations has been set up and is being regularly downloaded to provide detailed swimming tracks and dive profiles of the seals swimming in the Pentland Firth. This represents the initial stages of this collaboration and specific outputs in the form of publications will become available during 2017-2018.
Start Year 2015
 
Description RESPONSE project co investigation 
Organisation Loughborough University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution SMRU staff (Thompson & Hastie) have been closely involved in planning and development of acoustic signals and projection methods for the field work programme carried out by SAMS and SMRU as part of the RESPONSE project
Collaborator Contribution Dr Paul Lepper is a Co PI on the RESPONSE project and has collaborated closely in the development of the techniques and equipment for the seal and porpoise playback experiments in the wild.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration, Dr Lepper is an acoustician specialising in marine sound production and transmission and environmental impacts of anthropogenic noise.
Start Year 2011
 
Description RESPONSE project co investigation 
Organisation Scottish Association For Marine Science
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution SMRU staff (Thompson & Hastie) have been closely involved in planning and development of methods and equipment for the field work programme carried out by SAMS as part of the RESPONSE project
Collaborator Contribution Prof Ben Wilson is a Co PI on the RESPONSE project and has collaborated closely in the development of the techniques and equipment for the seal playback experiments in the wild.
Impact the collaboration was an essential part of the project and allowed the optimum use of shared equipment and man power during field work.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Seals and seabirds in the Pentland Firth 
Organisation Marine Scotland Science (MSS)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Providing supervision, technical and field support and telemetry tracking system and tags for a study of the foraging behaviour of sympatric marine mammasl (harbour seals) and seabirds (shags and Black guillemots) in the Pentland Firth tidal rapids. The work is being carried out as a PhD studentship and as part of an integrated study under the Tidal Energy Demonstration project. The equipment developed and purchased under the RESPONSE project is being deployed in conjunction with a large scale telemetry deplyment funded by Marine Scotland under the Tidal Energy Demonstration project.
Collaborator Contribution Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland Science are providing the funding for the PhD studentship under the umbrella of a Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland studentship. Each organisation is also represented on a PhD supervisory board and is providing additional advice and expertise in sea bird study methods. University of the Highlands and Islands are providing direct co-supervision of the project and are the lead partners on the seabird aspects of the project, provodogng both the expertise and logistical support.
Impact This si an early stage colaborative project. To date outputs have been in the form of establishing a data logging UHF network and deploying transmitters on seals. Additional deployments of tags on seals and birds are scheduled for spring and early summer 2017.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Seals and seabirds in the Pentland Firth 
Organisation Scottish Natural Heritage
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Providing supervision, technical and field support and telemetry tracking system and tags for a study of the foraging behaviour of sympatric marine mammasl (harbour seals) and seabirds (shags and Black guillemots) in the Pentland Firth tidal rapids. The work is being carried out as a PhD studentship and as part of an integrated study under the Tidal Energy Demonstration project. The equipment developed and purchased under the RESPONSE project is being deployed in conjunction with a large scale telemetry deplyment funded by Marine Scotland under the Tidal Energy Demonstration project.
Collaborator Contribution Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland Science are providing the funding for the PhD studentship under the umbrella of a Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland studentship. Each organisation is also represented on a PhD supervisory board and is providing additional advice and expertise in sea bird study methods. University of the Highlands and Islands are providing direct co-supervision of the project and are the lead partners on the seabird aspects of the project, provodogng both the expertise and logistical support.
Impact This si an early stage colaborative project. To date outputs have been in the form of establishing a data logging UHF network and deploying transmitters on seals. Additional deployments of tags on seals and birds are scheduled for spring and early summer 2017.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Seals and seabirds in the Pentland Firth 
Organisation University of the Highlands and Islands
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Providing supervision, technical and field support and telemetry tracking system and tags for a study of the foraging behaviour of sympatric marine mammasl (harbour seals) and seabirds (shags and Black guillemots) in the Pentland Firth tidal rapids. The work is being carried out as a PhD studentship and as part of an integrated study under the Tidal Energy Demonstration project. The equipment developed and purchased under the RESPONSE project is being deployed in conjunction with a large scale telemetry deplyment funded by Marine Scotland under the Tidal Energy Demonstration project.
Collaborator Contribution Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland Science are providing the funding for the PhD studentship under the umbrella of a Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland studentship. Each organisation is also represented on a PhD supervisory board and is providing additional advice and expertise in sea bird study methods. University of the Highlands and Islands are providing direct co-supervision of the project and are the lead partners on the seabird aspects of the project, provodogng both the expertise and logistical support.
Impact This si an early stage colaborative project. To date outputs have been in the form of establishing a data logging UHF network and deploying transmitters on seals. Additional deployments of tags on seals and birds are scheduled for spring and early summer 2017.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Invited speaker at Challenges and Opportunities of Renewable Energy 
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 presentation of results of the NERC/Defra RESPONSE and EBAO projects in conjunction with results from DECC and Scottish Government funded studies of interactions between marine mammals and marine renewables developments. The talk focussed on the use of targetted specific applied studies to generate results and answers of direct relevance to the developers of marine renewable energy industries and the regulators responsible for their environmentally sensititve development. The results of these projects featured heavilly in the structured panel discussions and the subsequent breakout group discussions. There was a general concensus that such studies should be extended where possible.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited talk at Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland annual science conference, Edinburgh 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation of results from the RESPONSE project's main seal based field work preogramme. Talk entitled :
Gordon Hastie & Dave Thompson (2013). Using telemetry and cameras to capture seal distribution in tide-space.


As at other presentations of these results, the combination of high resolution telemetry data, detailed visual observations and targeted play-back odf relevant signals was well recieved and seems likely to become the established method for such dose response studies with wild marine mammals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Poster presentation at major international conference of Society of Marine Mammalogy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact poster presented at the Soc. Marine Mammalogy biennial conference in San Francisco.
title: Man-made noise influences the foraging efficiency of seals.
Authors: Gordon D. Hastie, Paul Lepper, Chris McKnight, Ryan Milne, Deborah J.F. Russell, & Dave Thompson.
Audience of 2000 members of the International Society of Marirne Mammalogy.
Aim to disseminate information on the series of playback experiments carried out as part of the RESPONSE project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation at Biennial Conference on Marine Mammalogy (San Francisco, Dec 2015) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentation to major international conference of marine mammal scientists.
title: Dynamic habitat corridors for marine mammals; intensive use of a coastal channel by harbour seals is modulated by tidal currents.

Authors:Gordon D. Hastie, Steven Benjamins, Simon Moss, Deborah J.F. Russell, Ben Wilson, Dave Thompson

Audience comprised approximately 2000 members of the Society of Marine Mammalogy. The aim was to present the results of the high resolution telemetry trackig study carried out as part of the RESPONSE project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation to MASTS Annual Science Meeting Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to MASTS Annual Science Meeting Glasgow; 1st October 2015.
title: Issues at the interface of engineering and ecology.
authors: Hastie, G., Sparling,C., Gillespie,D., McConnell,B., Thompson,D., Bromley, P. & Boake, C.

Audience: the 300+ delegates attending the Annual Science conference of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology in Scotland. Aim to stimulate discussion and advocate collaboration between engineers, developers and ecologists during the development stages of marine renewable energy projects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Presentation to Marine Renewable Stakeholder group at Environmental Impacts of Marine Renewables Conference, Stornoway, 2014. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was an invited presentation entitled:
Gordon Hastie & Dave Thompson (2014). Movement patterns of seals in tidally energetic sites: implications for renewable energy developments. Environmental Impacts of Marine Renewables Conference, Stornoway, 2014.
The primary audience were government regulators and statutory advisers associated with Marine Renewables, commercial device developers and researchers. The talk caused substantial audience participation and led to further discussions with regulators and commercial stakeholders.

Direct contacts from commercial Tidal Turbine operators to discuss collaborations in future research. Potential collaborations for the final year's field-work of the RESPONSE project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation to stakeholders workshop on Marine Mammal interactions with Marine Renewable Energy developments. 25th October 2017. Halifax N.S 
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 Presentation by Dr. Gordon Hastie, of the results of the RESPONSE project integrated with information from other NERC, Scottish Government and UK government Department funded stuides of interactions between seals and marine energy developments. The audience comprised mainly UK and north American regulators and international Marine Energy developers. The meeting was held in association with the Society of Marine Mammalogy Biennial conference in Halifax, N.S. in October 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to the Society of Marine Mammalogy Biennial Conference Dec 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Talk was well recieved with substantial audience response and further discussions with research peers in post conference.

The very high resolution telemetry data and the very effective visualisation and presentation of the results highlighted unexpected fine scale behavioural responses to local tidal flow conditions. The talk led to requests from research peers for additional information on the telemetry methods and analytical framework.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Presntation of RESPONSE results to Biennial meeting of the Society of Marine Mammalogy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to 22nd Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. October 22-27, 2017 . Halifax, Nova Scotia
title: Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) avoid tidal turbine noise; implications for collision risk.
authors: Hastie,G., D.J.F. Russell1, P. Lepper, J. Elliott, B. Wilson, S. Benjamins & D. Thompson
Audience the 2000+ delegates attending the SMM conference. Aim to disseminate information on the results of the RESPONS project. A synthesis of the results and their implications for the estimatin of risks of collision and injury
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.smmconference.org
 
Description conference presentation; title Seals avoid tidal turbine sounds: implications for collision risk. authors Hastie,Thomspon,Lepper, Wilson, Benjamins & Russell. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation of the results of one work package in the RESPONSE project to the Environmental Interactions of Marine Renewable Energy Technologies (EIMR) conference in Kirkwall Orkney, in April 2018. Presented results of targeted play back trials including description of observed responses of seals to playback of tidal turbine noise. Behavioural responses including avoidance were observed in response to play back of tidal turbine acoustic signals at received levels that were not thought likely to cause a response. These have implications for estimating the effects of the reactions and the potential impacts on seals. The presentation sparked discussion and questions, particularly from regulators.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/research-enterprise/events-and-seminars/eimr/eimr-2018/
 
Description presentation to the biennial Conference of the Society for Marine Mammalogy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to the 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. 13-18 December 2015. San Francisco.
title: At Sea Controlled Exposure Experiments Reveal Responses of Harbour Seals to Mitigation Signals.
authors: Gordon, J., Bryant,E., Brodin,G., Blight,C. & Thompson,D.
target audience: the 2000+ members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy.
aim to present results of a real time tracking system for marine mammals that was developed as part of the RESPONSE project in collaboration with Scottish Government. As a result of this and other presentatins the system is now widely accepted as the best practice for conducting play back experiments with marine mammals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description presentation to the biennial Conference of the Society for Marine Mammalogy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. 13-18 December 2015. San Francisco.
title: The influence of man-made noise on the foraging efficiency of seals.
authors: Milne,R., Hastie,G., Lepper, P.P., McKnight, C., Russell, D.J. & Thompson,D.
Audience the 2000+ delegates attending the SMM conference. Aim to disseminate information on the results of captive animal study of effects of turbine noise on foraging decisions in a purpose built foraging scenario developed under the RESPONSE project. A paper is in prep and should be published in time for the next review; target journal Proc. Royal Soc. B
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description presentation to the biennial Conference of the Society for Marine Mammalogy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. 13-18 December 2015. San Francisco.
title: A real time tracking system for acoustic disturbance studies of marine animals equipped with UHF linked Fastloc GPS tags.
authors: Bryant,E., Brodin,G., Thompson,D., Gordon, J. & Blight,C.
Audience the 2000+ delegates attending the SMM conference. Aim to disseminate information on the technical aspects of the real time tracking system developed under the RESPONSE project. As a direct result of this and similar presentations the method has been endorsed by the Marine Renewables ORJIP as the appropriate method for conducting behavioural response trials with marine mammals.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description presentation to the biennial Conference of the Society for Marine Mammalogy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to the 21st Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals. 13-18 December 2015. San Francisco.
title: Small-scale spatiotemporal heterogeneity in harbour porpoise site usage.
authors: Benjamins, S., Hastie, G.D., Elliot.J, Thompson,D., Arne, Vogler & Wilson, B.

Audience, 2000+ members of the Society of Marine Mammalogy, presnenting results of the study of porpoise distribution in an area of high tidal energy collected during the RESPONSE project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015