May 7, 2006

Offshore wind power construction harms dolphins

The noise of construction at offshore wind power facilities adversely affects dolphin behavior, according to research published in the quarterly Water and Environment Journal. The author, J.A. David, writes that industrial noise, particularly pile driving, interferes with the dolphins' echo-location and thus their ability to navigate, find food, and avoid predators. This can seriously impair their health and their ability to breed successfully. Lactating females and young calves are especially vulnerable.

This paper may be part of on-going research by industry and government in the U.K. into the impacts of large offshore wind power facilities. Its focus is the unique noises of construction and does not examine the effects of vibration and noise from the regular operation of the giant machines. One recalls the story from last year about hundreds of seals apparently affected by the wind turbines on Scroby Sands, with babies being born dead and live ones being abandoned.

One also wonders where Greenpeace is on this issue.

wind power, wind energy, wind farms, wind turbines, environment, environmentalism, animal rights