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We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...

It’s Time To Breach The Snake River Dams

The Snake River dams were controversial even before they were built.  While they were still...
Save the whale. Save the world.

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins, and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Nat Geo for Disney+ Luis Lamar

Five Facts About Orcas

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most recognizable and popular species...
Alexi Archer cropped

Meet the 2022 Interns: Alexi Archer

I am thrilled to welcome Alexi to WDC as the newest member of our Marine...
Saya

Meet the 2022 Interns: Saya Butani

I'm happy to welcome the newest member of the WDC team, Saya Butani, who is...
Block Island wind credit: Regina Asutis-Silvia

Offshore Wind: Don’t Blow It

Recently, new areas were added to the growing list of potential sites for offshore wind...
Sierra

Meet the 2022 Interns: Sierra Osborne

I'm delighted to introduce WDC's Conservation Education intern for Summer 2022, Sierra Osborne! Without hesitation,...

Consent granted for 86 tidal turbines off north Scotland

A decision was made this week by the Scottish Ministers to allow a major and novel tidal array off the north coast of the Scottish mainland. WDC are supportive of responsible marine renewable energy and recognising the very serious implications of climate change for whales, dolphins and porpoises, we hope that it can become part of a more sustainable energy future.

But we have very serious concerns about the levels of uncertainty surrounding some proposed tidal developments, where predictions are made of collisions with marine mammals, but without any real life data to inform these models. Developers and scientists are really feeling their way in the dark.

WDC made a conditional objection to this tidal application. This means we objected unless specific conditions were put in place. We stated strong concerns about the huge number of turbines being placed in the water at once. We requested a precautionary approach, including that the number of turbines allowed initially be dramatically reduced, and that detailed monitoring be undertaken until impacts can be fully assessed. The developers need to demonstrate that the models they have included in their environmental impact assessments are inaccurate and that no whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals or any other of Scotlands’ amazing marine life are killed or injured in the operation of the turbines.

We made a number of other requests, including that a panel be put together to development a robust and long term monitoring strategy to be put in place and that adequate funding be made available to enable such a monitoring scheme to be implemented. We requested to be involved in this process.

Having considered the developers assessment, on the advice of Scottish Natural Heritage, the representation by WDC and many other bodies, Scottish Ministers have allowed 6 turbines to go ahead initially. The impact of these 6 turbines is to be monitored in full before Scottish Ministers agree to further stages of development.

WDC are supportive of this cautious approach to development that we hope means we will be able to rule out any impacts to whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and other marine life. Any impacts that may occur we hope will be understood and mitigated against appropriately. The full decision can be found on the Scottish Government website here.