Ecological modelling can play a crucial role in tackling key questions and concerns connected with marine renewable energy development (MRED) in Scotland. Many of the central issues currently remain at an unexplored interface which exists between marine ecology and marine engineering.
In the light of the Scottish Government Marine Bill, there is a clear need for quantitative decision tools which can help assist with marine spatial planning and to determine the potential effects of marine renewable energy development in order to assist with coherent planning, policy and strategy.
The Ecological Modelling for Marine Renewable Energy Development Pool aims to identify and investigate the key questions in this area and will consider the following broad areas:
• Effects on marine ecology (benthic, pelagic, ecosystem) ranging from phytoplankton to baleen whale
• Effects on coastal ecology, sea birds and pinnipeds
• Collision risks
• Spatial locations, densities, configurations and types of MRED devices to minimise potential ecological impacts
• Temporal operation of MRED devices to minimise potential ecological impacts
Discussions and activities are organised in conjunction with the Environmental Research Institute and the Scottish Association of Marine Science at the University of the Highlands and Islands, the Departments of Statistics & Modelling Science and Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, the International Centre for Island Technology at Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Scotland Marine Laboratory.
The leaders of this research pool welcome participation from those with an interest in this area. If you wish to participate, please contact the main organiser: Eric Grist.