Environmental assessment and planning

Developing baseline shellfish monitoring programme for Oriel Wind Farm

Project description: 

The development of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) projects has gained significant momentum in recent years, with a growing focus on their interaction with fisheries. As ORE projects, such as offshore wind farms, expand in coastal waters, it is becoming crucial to address potential impacts on fisheries to ensure sustainable coexistence. Collaboration between the ORE industry and fisheries stakeholders is essential to assess and mitigate any potential conflicts.  

BlueWise Marine assisted Parkwind in the development of a baseline shellfish monitoring programme for the Oriel Wind Farm. The overall brief was to design and conduct a research project to determine the baseline shellfish abundance in the vicinity of the perspective Oriel Wind Farm and its cable route. The lessons learned and findings of the initial surveys will be used to inform an environmental monitoring campaign to assess the potential impact of the wind farm development on the local shellfish fisheries. 

Scope of our work: 

As part of this project, BlueWise marine performed a review of the existing data and scientific reports on commercially important shellfish the area, to assess the key species and develop an experimental design in collaboration with partners at the Atlantic Technical University (ATU). A key aspect of the project was to establish positive and active engagement with local fishermen and their representative organisations. The feedback and knowledge the fishermen provided was integrated into the methodology of the monitoring surveys.