From now on, new guidelines apply on the development of offshore wind power in German part of the North Sea, which regulate the protection of the North Sea harbor porpoises.
As a result, the pile driving must be organized in a period when porpoises are in retreat, thus sufficiently far away from the place where work is underway.
German Federal Environment Ministry put the so-called Noise Protection Concept in force on 1 December 2013. The aim is to protect porpoises from the noise generated during pile driving of the foundations for the wind turbines ‒ especially in the period of rearing of offspring.
The concept applies to the area in the North Sea beyond the coastal waters which is managed by Germany. Special Protection applies to an area off Sylt – the nursery of porpoises in Germany. Many calves are born and raised there, especially from May to August. The concept also sets limits for the noise exposure of the Natura 2000 protected areas in the North Sea.
Offshore WIND Staff, December 3, 2013; Image: ascobans