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Attending ecological analysis at the offshore test area alpha ventus to evaluate the standard investigation concept of the BSH – StUKplus

Projectdata

Projectleader: Prof. Prof. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert
Scientist: Dr. Anita Gilles, Dr. Michael Dähne
Sponsoring: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (FKZ 0327689A)
Project executing organisation: Projektträger Jülich, Operational Division renewable energy
Project coordinatior: Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, (BSH), Hamburg
F+E Contractor: Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research, ITAW

In this project research is conducted to investigate and quantify the impact of the construction and operation of offshore wind farms on marine mammals. Results gained during this project are used to evaluate and potentially adjust the regulatory framework for environmental impact assessments at marine offshore wind farms, the so-called StUK 3 (BSH, 2007). Several methods such as C-PODs, ship and aerial surveys are used to monitor habitat use, distribution and density of harbour porpoises and to detect possible impacts due to the construction and operation of the offshore test wind farm “alpha ventus”. 


C-POD (harbour porpoise click detector) for acoustic detection of porpoises © ITAW

In order to assess harbour porpoise presence and their habitat use during different stages of the construction and operation phase at “alpha ventus” acoustic data loggers (C-PODs) are positioned at several distances to the construction area. 

Regular aerial surveys are conducted in the larger vicinity of „alpha ventus“ in order to assess shifts in porpoise density regarding their large-scale and temporal distribution. 


                                

Aircraft used for visual surveys of marine mammals © ITAW

Furthermore, possible effects on distribution, density, behaviour and aggregations are measured and quantified in real-time to the construction activities (BACI-experiment, Before After Control Impact). Therefore, before, during and after the construction period three combined visual and acoustic ship surveys (plus towed hydrophone) are conducted. The “line transect distance sampling” method (BUCKLAND et al. 2001) is applied for aerial as well as for ship surveys.


Combined visual and acoustic ship survey © ITAW

                                   

Another sub-project developed a database merging data which are gained from small scale aerial- and ship based surveys during environmental impact assessments (EIA) for planned and approved offshore wind farms as well as data gained during long term and large scale research projects conducted by the ITAW. 

Contact person

Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum


Prof. Prof. Dr. h. c. Dr. Ursula Siebert

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Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover
Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research
Werftstr. 6
25761 Büsum
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Tel.:+49 511 856-8177
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