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Marine mammals and noise

Underwater noise from offshore pile driving, seismic surveys and other noise intensive exercises may disturb or even harm marine mammals. HiDef / BioConsult SH provide full noise assessments for any marine project, spanning from acoustic and visual surveys of marine mammals to noise modelling and mitigation. We are engaged in a number of offshore wind farm projects all over Europe and have developed special skills in developing tailored mitigation concepts according to national legal requirements and specific demands of offshore construction processes.

BioConsult SH recently developed the ‘Wireless Detection System’ (WDS), a new passive acoustic monitoring technique that is currently the only system to successfully confirm harbour porpoise deterrence in real-time and which has been applied successfully in the field.

Typically, deterrents such as 'Pinger' or 'Sealscarer' are deployed to deter harbour porpoises from the impact zone before pile driving begins. Following this, the area around the piling event is monitored for the presence of harbour porpoises, and cetacean-porpoise detectors (CPODs) represent the conventional method. CPODs record porpoise echolocation activity, but their data can only be examined after they have been retrieved. WDS buoys on the other hand transmit their data wirelessly and allow real-time monitoring, a key benefit of this system.

BioConsult SH has deployed WDS at a number of sites in German waters and has the experience and capability to deploy the system wherever required.