Seiche Environmental has been appointed to monitor and manage the safety of marine mammals at the Triton Knoll offshore wind project site in the UK.
Seiche Environmental stated it is in charge of implementing important mitigation measures at the site offshore Lincolnshire, despite it already being assessed as having low potential for marine mammal presence.
The team is located onboard the installation vessel Seaway Strashnov to ensure that the impact of underwater noise from construction activities, linked to the installation of 90 monopile foundations and two offshore substation platforms, has minimal impact on any local cetaceans and seals.
Specialist Passive Acoustic Measurement (PAM) equipment is used to identify if any marine mammals are present underwater, and an Acoustic Deterrent Device (Lofitech’s Seal Scarer) is used to help keep any marine mammals that may be present beyond the 500m radius protection zone.
Seiche is also recording and reporting on noise output during the installation of the initial piles, so that predictions used to assess the potential impact on marine fauna can be validated.
“Understanding and minimising the impact of offshore construction on marine mammals is a vital part of modern offshore wind farm development,” said Nicola Harris, Associate Director, Environmental Services for Seiche.
“Pile driving activities are governed by strict marine mitigation procedures, and we are proud to be providing the crucial expertise to ensure that the noise from these works is managed in a way that is not damaging to the like of grey seal, harbour porpoise and harbour seal, as well as other species less common in the North Sea, including white-beaked dolphin and minke whale.”
Triton Knoll will comprise 90 MHI Vestas 9.5MW turbines expected to be operational in 2021.
Construction of the 860MW offshore wind farm is currently underway, with the first foundation installed in January.