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Monitoring the impact of offshore windfarms on the marine environment: an obligate multidisciplinary and integrated programme

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  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science

Abstract

Microsoft Word - SP_43_frame.doc - 49 - MONITORING THE IMPACT OF OFFSHORE WINDFARMS ON THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT: AN OBLIGATE MULTIDISCIPLINARY AND INTEGRATED PROGRAMME Degraer Steven1, Robin Brabant 1, Ulrike Braeckman2, Delphine Coates2, Wouter Courtens3, Jozefien Derweduwen4, Marisa Di Marcantonio1, Jan Haelters1, Kris Hostens4, Thierry Jacques1, Francis Kerckhof1, Alain Norro1, Jan Reubens2, Eric Stienen3, Jan Vanaverbeke2, Carl Van Colen2, Sofie Vandendriessche4, Dries Van den Eynde1, Marc Van de Walle3, Nicolas Vanermen3, Gert Van Hoey4, Laurence Vigin1, Magda Vincx2 and Jan Wittoeck4 1 Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Model (MUMM І BMM І UGMM), Gulledelle 100, 1200 Brussel, Belgium Email: [email protected] 2 Marine Biology Section, Biology Department, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281 S8, 9000 Gent, Belgium 3 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO), Kliniekstraat 25, 1070 Brussel, Belgium 4 Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences, Fisheries, Biological Environmental Research, Ankerstraat 1, 8400 Oostende, Belgium In 2004 the Belgian government assigned a zone for wind energy in the Belgian part of the North Sea. Since then two companies, C-Power and Belwind, were granted a permit to build and exploit a wind farm on the Thorntonbank and the Bligh Bank, respectively. The first wind turbines are up and running since 2009. A third company, Eldepasco, started the environmental permit procedure in 2009. The permit includes the obligation to assess the impact of the project on the marine environment. As such, the monitoring programme covers physical, biological and socio-economic aspects of the marine environment. The Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Model (MUMM) coordinates the monitoring and cooperates with different institutions that have expertise in a specific domain: Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO; bird

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