Pioneering environmental studies recognized by the international scientific community
Saint-Brieuc / Paris - March 03 2023 -
- The scallop noise monitoring campaign represents a world first for marine biology research.
- PLos One and Limnology & Oceanography Methods, two international scientific publications, have validated the protocols for measuring the effects of noise on scallops.
- These measurements were carried out by independent scientists before and during the installation of the components of the Saint-Brieuc Bay offshore wind farm.
- The full results and conclusions will be published in a few months.
- These protocols will serve as a frame of reference for future studies on similar topics.
- A doctoral dissertation in marine biology provides new scientific insights into the effects of noise on scallops and clams.
- In addition, the first results have been recorded on the monitoring of avifauna (birds) by telemetry on gannets.
A world first for marine biology research
In 2018, at the request of the Comité Départemental des Pêches Maritimes et des Élevages Marins des Côtes d'Armor (CDPMEM22), Ailes Marines undertook additional studies on the impact of noise on scallops, clams, and lobsters during the installation phase of the Saint-Brieuc offshore wind farm.
These scientific studies were conducted by Dr. Laurent Chauvaud, research director at CNRS (LEMAR/BeBEST), Prof. Frédéric Olivier of the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (BOREA/BeBEST) and Dr. Delphine Mathias (SOMME/BeBEST) and recently Dr. Mathilde Gigot who defended her thesis at the University of Western Brittany on this topic.
These scientific studies took place over 24 months in the laboratory and in situ between 2018 and 2020 and continued during the park installation phase in 2021 and 2022.
This study campaign of noise monitoring measurements on scallops represents a world first for marine biology research. It has allowed the development of an innovative monitoring method and the acquisition of new knowledge on the biology and behavior of this species. Saint-Brieuc is still the only offshore wind farm to have implemented such a system for monitoring and evaluating noise emissions before and during the construction phase of the project.
This is why, at the request of the project leader of the Calvados offshore wind farm, Ailes Marines, Laurent Chauvaud, Frédéric Olivier and Delphine Mathias presented to the professional fishermen of Normandy, the noise monitoring studies on scallops carried out before and during the construction of the offshore wind farm in Saint-Brieuc. This meeting was held on January 6, 2023 in Port-en-Bessin (14).
Protocols for measuring the effects of noise on scallops approved by the scientific community
Plos One and Limnology & Oceanography Methods, two international scientific publications, have approved the methodology and protocol for measuring the effects of noise on scallops. Frédéric Olivier, Mathilde Gigot, Delphine Mathias, Youenn Jezequel, Tarik Meziane, Christophe L'Her, Laurend Chauvaud, Julien Bonnel published in February 2023 in Limonology & Oceanography Methods an article entitled "Evaluating the impacts of anthropogenic sounds on the early stages of benthic invertebrates: the larvosonic system ". The scientists conclude that the larvosonic system is an effective tool for bioacoustic research on benthic-planktonic invertebrate species. The larvosonic system was designed, developed and tested by the scientists. It consists of a plexiglass tank allowing both larval rearing and the diffusion of known sounds undistorted by the tank itself. This system has been implemented at the Tinduff (Plougastel - 29) within the scallop hatchery.
On January 11, 2023, Elie Retailleau, Arthur Chauvaud, Gaetan Richard, Delphine Mathias, Laurent Chauvaud, Sarah Reynaud, Jerom Mars, Sylvain Chauvaud published in the journal Plos One an article entitled " The nocturnal life of scallops (Pecten maximus, L.): the first description of their natural daily valve opening cycle". This pioneering study on the behavior of scallops carried out in 2021 in the Bay of Saint-Brieuc, led by the research firm SOMME, made it possible to characterize the activity of the scallops over several weeks, through their valve movements.
The results and conclusions of the monitoring measurements on the noise of scallops will be published in scientific journals in the coming months.
A doctoral thesis in marine biology provides new scientific knowledge
In October 2022, Mathilde Gigot defended her thesis "Characterization of the acoustic impact of pile-driving and drilling works associated with offshore wind turbine constructions on the larval stages of the marine bivalves Pecten maximus and Venus verrucosa".
This thesisfunded by the CNRS, was conducted under the supervision of Laurent Chauvaud (LEMAR), Julien Bonnel (WHOI) and Frédéric Olivier (BOREA). Ailes Marines has provided funding for laboratory experiments as part of the project IMPAIC PROJECT.
This scientific doctoral thesis (UBO) aimed to evaluate the impact of anthropogenic noise on the larval stages of two species of bivalves: the scallop Pecten maximus and the meadowlark Venus verrucosa, and more specifically the effect of pounding and drilling noise on the parameters of larval development.
The work concludes that the survival rates of scallop larvae and post-larvae are always higher than 96% for a 4-day exposure. The biology of the animal is modified in very small proportions during these experiments.
First results on avifauna (birds) monitoring by telemetry on Gannets
As part of the wind farm project in the Bay of Saint Brieuc, Ailes Marines has had environmental consultants carry out numerous observations over a period of five years. More than fifty different species have been identified in and around the wind farm site.
Ailes Marines has set up a species monitoring system using telemetry, which consists of equipping gannets with a GPS beacon. This beacon transmits the bird's position live. Within the framework of the Saint-Brieuc project, this beacon is used to trace the movements of the gannets under the direction of Dr. David Gremillet, CNRS Research Director, Spatial Ecology of Populations Team.
The first results show that gannets do not prefer the park area but concentrate their movements in the near coast and in the English Channel.
About Ailes Marines
- 75 km2 in area
- 62 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD 8 MW wind turbines
- 496 MW of installed capacity
- 1,820 GWh/year of production, i.e. the annual electricity consumption of 835,000 inhabitants (including heating)