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The influence of offshore windpower on demersal fish
Wilhelmsson, D.; Malm, T.; Öhman, M.C. (2006). The influence of offshore windpower on demersal fish. ICES J. Mar. Sci./J. Cons. int. Explor. Mer 63: 775-784
In: ICES Journal of Marine Science. Academic Press: London. ISSN 1054-3139, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Demersal fisheries; Offshore structures; Wind power; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Wilhelmsson, D.
  • Malm, T.
  • Öhman, M.C.

Abstract
    A significant expansion of offshore windpower is expected in northwestern Europe in the near future. Little is known about the impacts it may have on the marine environment. Here, we investigate the potential for wind turbines to function as artificial reefs and fish aggregation devices (FADs), i.e. whether they would locally increase fish densities or alter fish assemblages. Fish communities and habitat composition were investigated using visual transects at two windpower farms off the southeastern coast of Sweden, central Baltic Sea. Fish abundance was greater in the vicinity of the turbines than in surrounding areas, while species richness and Shannon-Wiener diversity (H′) were similar. On the monopiles of the turbines, fish community structure was different, and total fish abundance was greater, while species richness and diversity (H′) were lower than on the surrounding seabed. Blue mussels and barnacles covered most of the submerged parts of the turbines. On the seabed, more blue mussels and a lesser cover of red algae were recorded around the power plants than elsewhere. Results from this study suggest that offshore windfarms may function as combined artificial reefs and fish aggregation devices for small demersal fish.

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