Quantifying benefits and impacts of fishing exclusion zones around Marine Renewable Energy Installations

Lead Research Organisation: Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Department Name: Plymouth Marine Lab

Abstract

Tidal, wave and offshore wind resources will be important for meeting an increasing proportion of society's future energy needs. However, marine renewable energy devices are likely to have direct impacts and indirect effects on shelf and coastal environments and biota across a range of spatio-temporal scales. These potential effects (both positive and negative) have implications for pelagic, demersal and benthic fish and invertebrate (shellfish) populations, their essential habitats and the fisheries they support. Globally, there is at present a very limited understanding of how large-scale development of marine renewable energy installations (MREI) will affect fish and shellfish populations and the fisheries that exploit them.

Whilst some research to date has considered fish sensory responses to probable noise and electromagnetic fields associated with MREIs, the major gaps in knowledge that will have particular socio-economic importance lie in understanding the longer term behavioural and ecological responses, including habitat use by fish and shellfish, arising from marine renewable devices themselves and the areas immediately surrounding areas that exclude fishing. Hence, there is a need to quantify whether fisheries in areas adjacent to fishery exclusion zones around MREI sites in temperate regions are enhanced by the hypothesised biological 'spillover' effect, how MREI areas may be connected biologically, and the biological and socio-economic effects of displacing exploitation pressure from MREI sites to adjacent areas.

In the proposed research we will use a novel combination of behavioural tracking, density estimations and modelling approaches to address whether 'spillover' of species abundance (fish, shellfish) as a consequence of the no-fishing area around MREIs enhance adjacent areas. We propose to conduct research at a small-spatial scale, wave energy test site (the Wave Hub, off Hayle, Cornwall) and a Round 1 (R1) 30-turbine offshore wind farm (North Hoyle, off Rhyl, North Wales) and the area north of this towards the R2 Gwynt-y-Mor wind farm currently under construction. Our approach in these locations will be to quantify where large numbers of fish and shellfish of several species (e.g. edible crab, lobster, Atlantic cod, thornback ray) are located in relation to MREI, adjacent and more distant areas, and how much time they spend in those locations over annual cycles. We will then use this precise spatial information for several hundred individuals to scale up to potential population levels using relative abundance data from surveys for these focal species in those areas. From this, empirical estimates of the magnitude of spillover and its spatio-temporal dynamics will be made. These will be compared with spatial fishery models, to assess how rates of exchange of animals between areas accessible and inaccessible to fishing determine outcomes in terms of both spawning potential and fishery yield. We will use an individual-based modelling approach to identify how patterns of space use by fish/shellfish determine these outcomes when MREIs are introduced into stock areas. This research will also undertake a socio-economic analysis of the impacts and benefits to fisheries of MREIs that exclude fishing, and the effects of displacement of fishing exploitation to adjacent areas.

These data will be contextualised with the relative abundance of predators of fish (seabirds, marine mammals) in MREI and adjacent areas together with how fish and shellfish movements and space use change in response to variations in the physical environment (wave height, current velocity) will allow a deeper understanding of the drivers of distributional change in target species in MREI and adjacent areas. The proposed research will benefit from using novel tracking technologies, including an acoustic monitoring array that is unique to the UK, to obtain the first long-term movement data for multiple species around MREI sites.

Planned Impact

See main proposal document
 
Description work is still in progress
Exploitation Route Findings will be of interest in understanding conflicts between the energy and fisheries sectors in development of offshore renewable energy. This will be of use by policy makers and regulators as well as the industries in developing, planning and licensing offshore marine energy
Sectors Energy,Environment

 
Description The findings have been used to inform Marine paper submitted by the Natural Capital Committee to the government
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Expert workshop for the Government Office of Science Foresight Future of the Sea project, London July
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Marine Board Working Group on environmental valuation, Chair 2013-2019
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Member Expert Advisory Group for the Government Office for Science Foresight Future of the Sea project. 2016-2017
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Member Expert Advisory Group for the Government Office for Science Foresight Future of the Sea project. 2016-2018
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/7069...
 
Description Member of UK Valuing Nature Programme Advisory Group 2015-2016
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Member of the UK Government's Natural Capital Committee (NCC) - an independent advisory committee that provides advice to the government on the sustainable use of natural capital - that is, our natural assets including forests, rivers, land, minerals and oceans as well as the benefits we derive from them, such as food, recreation, clean water, hazard protection and clean air. The NCC reports to the Economic Affairs (EA) Committee of the Cabinet.
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/natural-capital-committee
 
Description NERC Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Advisory Council
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in advisory committee
URL http://noc.ac.uk/science-technology/marine-resources/energy/marine-renewables/knowledge-exchange-pro...
 
Description Severn Barrage Inquiry - Provision of Evidence
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Sir Charles Hendry Tidal Lagoon Inquiry Round table, UKERC London July
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Written evidence submitted by the Natural Environment Research Council
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description Defra Invitation to Tender on Natural Capital Approach to the Marine Environment to Aid Decision Making Kick off
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Department For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs (DEFRA) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2017 
End 02/2021
 
Description Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy - PRIMaRE 
Organisation Marine Biological Association
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of Steering Committee: The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Collaborator Contribution The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Impact Annual meeting Workshops Production of a Research Strategy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy - PRIMaRE 
Organisation South West Marine Energy Park
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Member of Steering Committee: The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Collaborator Contribution The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Impact Annual meeting Workshops Production of a Research Strategy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy - PRIMaRE 
Organisation University of Bath
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of Steering Committee: The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Collaborator Contribution The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Impact Annual meeting Workshops Production of a Research Strategy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy - PRIMaRE 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of Steering Committee: The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Collaborator Contribution The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Impact Annual meeting Workshops Production of a Research Strategy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy - PRIMaRE 
Organisation University of Exeter
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of Steering Committee: The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Collaborator Contribution The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Impact Annual meeting Workshops Production of a Research Strategy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy - PRIMaRE 
Organisation University of Plymouth
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of Steering Committee: The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Collaborator Contribution The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Impact Annual meeting Workshops Production of a Research Strategy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy - PRIMaRE 
Organisation University of Southampton
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Member of Steering Committee: The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Collaborator Contribution The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Impact Annual meeting Workshops Production of a Research Strategy
Start Year 2013
 
Description Partnership for Research In Marine Renewable Energy - PRIMaRE 
Organisation Wave Hub Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Member of Steering Committee: The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Collaborator Contribution The Partnership for Research in Marine Renewable Energy (PRIMaRE) is a network of world-class research institutions based in the west, south, and south west of England who undertake research and development to address challenges facing the marine renewable energy industry at the regional, national and international level.
Impact Annual meeting Workshops Production of a Research Strategy
Start Year 2013
 
Description UKERC research 
Organisation UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution PML led the Energy and Environment Theme and participated in collaborative research
Collaborator Contribution Research on: impacts on ecosystem services of marine renewable energy, on global impacts of energy on ecosystem services
Impact stakeholder meeting with policy makers and industry; working paper synthesising result aimed at stakeholders; publications
Start Year 2009
 
Description 'Resources for energy systems: Environmental considerations'. UKERC Annual Conference, Oxford University, March 
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 mixed audience of academics, policy makers, industry representatives across whole energy system as an introduction to a discussion session on Resources for Energy Systems. This created increased awareness of the complex interactions between environmental and energy policy drivers in the coasts and seas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Bridging the gap between energy and the environment: A synthesis of research conducted within the UKERC Energy & Environment theme. Hinton, E., Holland, R., Austen, M., Taylor, G. (eds.) (2014) UKERC Working Paper series, UKERC/WP/EE/2014/001 pp57 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Wide interest from policy and industry stakeholders

continued interest in energy and environment related research via SPLiCE (Defra) and UKERC phase 3. Email discussions on the interplay of solar panel deployment and agriculture
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=3685
 
Description Challenges and opportunities for co-location of offshore wind farms and fisheries in the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This presentation was given at Offshore Wind Energy 2017, a large international industry conference. The presentation generated many questions and discussion as well as requests for further information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Challenges and opportunities for co-location of offshore wind farms with commercial and recreational fisheries 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I presented the outcomes of the QBEX research on co-location opportunities and challenges, which led to a lively question and answer session. A copy of the questionnaire used in our interviews with recreational fishers was requested to support a student in her work on recreational angling and offshore aquaculture, with the potential for a future collaborative publication on anglers and artificial structures.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Ecosystem Services presentation to the Oil Spill Response (OSR) Industry Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact key note presentation to the Oil Spill Response (OSR) Industry Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC) raising awareness of opportunities to prioritise oil spill response measures by considering ecosystem services
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited presentation 'Natural Capital: Can it be operationalised for the marine environment?'at Coastal Futures Conference, Royal Geographic Society, London. 23-24 Jan 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Prof. Austen was invited to give a platform presentation at the Coastal Future conference, at the Royal Geographical Society, London (23-24 January 2019). The presentation was entitled 'Natural Capital: Can it be operationalised for the marine environment?'. The audience was able to ask questions and engage in discussions afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://coastal-futures.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Austen-Natural-Capital-Can-it-be-operationlise...
 
Description Marine Ecosystem Valuation Policy Brief invited presentation to British Irish Parliamentary Meeting, Co. Wicklow, Ireland May 13th 
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 Presentation made on the European Marine Board Marine Ecosystem Valuation Policy Brief to Parliamentarians from the UK and the Republic of Ireland at their bilateral meeting. Questions afterwards
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Marine Management Organisation MMO Science Alignment Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact MMO Science Alignment Workshop to align UK marine science research to the evidence needs of the MMO
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Marine science and policy: match and mismatch Opening Keynote presentation at North Sea Science Conference, Ostend, November 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact An international audience of policy makers, Belgian and EU politicians and academics attended my opening keynote presentation to the North Sea Open Science Conference in Ostend, Belgium, 7th November 2016. I set the theme for the conference which was reflected in further discussion after my presentation and during the remainder of the conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Natural Capital Initiative Dialogue - integrating the management of catchments, coast and the sea 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Natural Capital Initiative Dialogue - Natural Capital without boundaries: integrating the management of catchments, coast and the sea through partnership at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology - invited workshop participant. Report produced
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Offshore wind co-location workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on co-location of fisheries and offshore wind farms, with wide-ranging questions, requests for further information and discussion on opportunities for further collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Plymouth and Brexit: Perspective of Marine Research Organization 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Appearances on local/national television (ITV, BBC) associated with presentation given at Plymouth and Brexit conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description SPLiCE Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Invited attendee to co-develop SPLiCE programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Stakeholder perceptions on co-locating commercial and recreational fishing at offshore wind farms 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I gave a presentation to describe the findings of the QBEX project to an audience including representatives in the policy, consultancy and industry fields, as well as academics including PhD students. The talk stimulated questions, further discussions and requests for information, and also fed into an associated workshop activity later in the event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description The Natural Capital Approach and its use in coastal and marine management' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote presentation at South West Marine Natural Capital conference, Exeter, July to set the scene on marine natural capital. Much discussion afterwards. Follow up from conference to implement marine natural capital accounting in the region
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.northdevonbiosphere.org.uk/uploads/1/5/4/4/15448192/workshop_report_natural_capital.pdf
 
Description Women in STEM - presentation at National Marine Aquarium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk about my research career at local meeting of 'Women in STEM' - at National Marine Aquarium
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description visit of Mr. Xu JIN, head of commercial section of the Chinese Embassy in London, 
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 Presented PML marine renewables research to Chinese delegates including Mr. Xu JIN, head of commercial section of the Chinese Embassy in London, at a meeting to discuss Chinese involvement in marine renewable energy development in the UK
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015