In situ exposure to pile driving: swim bladder barotrauma in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua)

Annelies De Backer, Elisabeth Debusschere, Jan Ranson, Kristian Hostens

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan congresC3: Congres - Meeting abstract

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Uittreksel

Underwater noise related to human activities is an increasing source of pollution in the marine environment. Although offshore wind farms (OWFs) do create green energy, they adversely affect the marine ecosystem by introducing underwater noise. Especially during construction, high impulsive sound is generated, which can be detrimental for marine life. Several laboratory experiments on fish and marine mammals showed behavioral changes, physiological stress, internal and external injuries, sometimes leading to mortality. In situ evidence, however, is scarce. In the Belgian North Sea, a field experiment during OWF construction was undertaken to determine the direct effect of pile driving on Atlantic cod.
Large cages with 10 cod individuals were submerged at increasing distances from the installation vessel. All fish were exposed to one pile driving event. A similar control experiment was repeated when no pile driving took place. Underwater sound levels were measured at different distances during pile driving, while background measurements were made to determine ambient sound levels. After retrieval of the cages, all cod were evaluated for buoyancy. Shortly afterwards, all fish were examined for swim bladder barotrauma and internal bleeding. Overall, 11% cod were retrieved dead, most probably due to handling stress, as no direct relation could be found with distance to the sound source. On the other hand, a steep increase in swim bladder barotrauma was detected with decreasing distance to the pile driving source and no swim bladders were ruptured at the control treatments. Although most fishes in the cages in the direct vicinity of the piling source did survive this short term experiment, they all showed internal bleeding and a high degree of abnormal swimming behavior, hinting towards reduced survival on the longer term. Nevertheless, swim bladder injuries rapidly decreased with increasing distance from the sound source, indicating that immediate detrimental effects occur only locally.
TaalEngels
StatusGepubliceerd - sep-2018
EvenementECSA 57: Changing estuaries, coasts and shelf systems - Diverse threats and opportunities - Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth, Australië
Duur: 3-sep-20186-sep-2018
http://www.estuarinecoastalconference.com/

Congres

CongresECSA 57: Changing estuaries, coasts and shelf systems - Diverse threats and opportunities
LandAustralië
StadPerth
Periode3/09/186/09/18
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