Areas of assistance

null

 Fields of interest include: 

  • Biocoustic monitoring
  • Environmental impacts of marine renewable energy devices on marine mammals and seabirds
  • Animal movement, energy costs to diving seabirds
  • Effects of oceanography on foraging behaviours of marine mammals and seabirds

Bioacoustic monitoring of cetaceans

Bioacoustic monitoring of cetaceans

SEACAMS2 expertise includes extensive experience of using passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) devices or towed hydrophone gear to monitor cetaceans in and around locations of potential marine renewable energy devices.  Multivariate analysis of detection data can be used to assess seasonal and spatial presence of harbour porpoise and dolphins around high energy areas of the Welsh coast and within the Wave Hub demo zone.

Animal movement in high tidal energy sites

Animal movement

The SEACAMS2 team can offer extensive expert advice on animal movement and energy use, specifically relating to marine mammals and seabirds.  The placement of tidal energy devices in high energy marine areas also favoured by feeding seals, porpoise and diving seabirds, which holds implications for potential collision or disturbance risks to these animals.
Investigating the fine-scale movement and foraging behaviour of diving seabirds could provide insight into best location for placement of tidal energy instalments.
Seal movement can be assessed using tracking devices to monitor and reproduce 3D movements, behaviour and energy expenditure in areas of proposed MRE devices. This information could help improve understanding of interactions between grey seals and tidal energy devices in comparison to general movement and behaviour in areas of high tidal energy. 

Environmental Impacts on marine mammals

Environmental Impact Assessment

SEACAMS2 have expertise that can be utilised by the marine renewable energy sector to investigate the impacts of certain devices on marine mammals.  The open water ecology team have skills that could assist with the design of novel surveying methods, analysis of existing datasets and access to research vessels to conduct boat-based survey trials.

Hauled-out-seals

Disturbance effect of small UAVs on Grey Seals 

The application of UAVs in the field of ecology is being increasingly recognised with a number of studies using different systems for collecting survey, identification and measurement data for monitoring populations of marine mammals. The use of UAVs could be a viable and more cost effective alternative to traditional methods and UAVs have been trialled for seal surveys in the U.K., the U.S., Canada and the Antarctic. Seals and other Pinnipeds haul-out regularly, making these haul-out sites ideal for aerial surveys whereby species, counts and measurement data can be collected. Testing the disturbance effect of  fixed-wing and rotor-based copter UAVs at various heights and distances at haul-out sites can provide useful evidence to inform guidance for future work using small UAVs for this purpose and also advice for the recreational use of drones near seal haul-out sites.  SEACAMS2 are investigating the effect of small UAVs on the behaviour of hauled-out grey seals around Wales in collaboration with Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum.