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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2017 / The harbour porpoise ( Phocoena phocoena ): Consequences of anthropogenic underwater sound on their ecological value

Jill Debosschere, Steven Degraer, Bob Rumes, Robrecht Moelans and Marc Huyghens (2017)

The harbour porpoise ( Phocoena phocoena ): Consequences of anthropogenic underwater sound on their ecological value

Master thesis, Ghent University.

Mainly due to anthropogenic activities, disturbance to the marine environment by underwater sound sources is an increasing problem in our seas and oceans. One of these activities, i.e. the construction of offshore wind farms, constitutes a relatively new and fast growing industry and potentially induces wide-ranging underwater sound disturbance. It is important to determine the effects on the marine environment and to manage negative impacts with proper mitigation measures, in order to achieve both a good environmental status and renewable energy development. The response of harbour porpoise to impulsive anthropogenic underwater sound is relatively well studied. This animal can thus be used as a highly relevant (due to their representative appearance and biological sensitivity) study object for studies on anthropogenic noise pollution (Wright, 2013). This study focused on the differences in regulatory regimes with regards to offshore wind farm construction in various North Sea countries and how this impacts both harbour porpoise populations and installation costs. The direct and indirect operational consequences of the different regulatory regimes related to underwater sound mitigation with piling activities on the environmental impact of a population of harbour porpoises, in countries around the Southern North Sea was quantified using the interim Population Consequences of Disturbance model (Harwood & King, 2014a, 2014b)
Steven Degraer: promotor Bob Rumes, Marc Huyghens, Robrecht Moelans: co-promotor
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