Report of the working group on marine benthal and renewable energy developments (bijdrage Jozefien Derweduwen)


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    The third annual meeting of the working group on Marine Benthal and Renewable Ener-gy developments was attended by 15 experts, representing seven countries (Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, United Kingdom (England and Scotland) and the Nether-lands; with remote input from Poland and Sweden) and was held on 21–25 April 2015 in Oban, Scotland/United Kingdom. The meeting was co-chaired by Jennifer Dannheim (Al-fred Wegener Institute, Germany) and Andrew B. Gill (Cranfield University, United Kingdom). As in the previous two years, the terms of references were summarised in three thematic sub-groups: (A) The ‘knowledge group’ (ToR A, E) focused on evaluating and reviewing the existing knowledge on the effects of offshore renewable constructions and related topics (e.g. artificial reefs). (B) The ‘monitoring group’ (ToR B, F) reviewed and evaluated the scientific efficiency of ongoing monitoring programmes of offshore renewable energy development projects by identifying knowledge gaps and providing outputs that could be used in the future to standardised research and ensure monitoring occurred at the appropriate scale. (C) The ‘metadatabase group’ (ToR C, D) looked at a database of metadata that will help to cross-foster research and target monitoring, as well as future modelling approaches.
    The two main themes that had clearly emerged from our previous two meetings formed the focus of activity during the meeting, namely the knowledge and monitoring themes, which address the ToRs A, B, E and F. Progress via intersessional activity meant that we were able to discuss and finalise outstanding issues relating to the conversion of our ac-tivities (both within workshops and intersessionally) into journal publications. There was an update of activities from across Europe that highlighted the growing interest in un-derstand the benthic ecosystem and interactions with marine renewable energy devel-opments. Also many of the WGMBRED have been active across conferences, workshops and publishing in journals. During the workshop we built on all these activities and worked together to address the ToRs of the WG.
    The monitoring group narrowed down the scope in their paper to ask and provide a sug-gested solution to the question around what we should monitor and at what scale. Fun-damental questions that occupy much debate and effort when considering the benthic ecosystem in relation to marine renewable energy development effects on the benthos (and also has wider application to benthic monitoring in general). The plan that was agreed and is being implement was to finalise the paper between the main authors and then looking to submit a paper around September/October 2015. This was later than previous scheduled but the delay has meant that the paper is not just a review but a more specific analysis of the issues that exist and a solution proposed by our expert group.
    The knowledge group had a set of identified tasks relating to the cause-effect relation-ships that they had identified in previous meetings and they spent a significant amount of time within workshops and intersessionally on providing the narrative with support-ing citation of published sources of reference. For each cause-effect relationship a hypothesis was formulated and text paragraphs of 5–15 lines were written by responsible authors of WGMBRED, summarising the current knowledge. Further, the group defined a scoring system to quantify the spatial, temporal and quantitative effect size on each hypothesis. This scoring matrix constitute the base for scientifically justification of hypothesis and thus to identify knowledge gaps and prioritise the known unknowns. They are on target to have a paper for journal submission by December 2015.
    The metadatabase theme only occupied a relatively small amount of time as in the last workshop a decision was taken to link with the existing Tethys Annex IV database. A link to WGMBRED has been arranged to be hosted on the Tethys database. The WGMBRED members have all signed up either intersessionally or during this workshop.
    In addition to the three main themes and the ToRs the WG discussed the future of the topic and also the future of the MBRED working group. Current knowledge on effects of offshore renewable energy devices on the benthal ecosystems and methods to determine these effects strategies were deemed just as important now as when the WGMBRED started three years ago, if not more so in the future. The importance of scale issues and cumulative impacts was highlighted and these were integrated into a new set of ToRs to set out the case for the continuation of the WG.
    The WG continues to functioning extremely well with high active participation across northern Europe and we now have an agreed member from the USA and potentially Canada too. In the three years of the WG to date, we have almost met the ToRs (by the end of 2015 we will have met them). The new set of ToRs and the unanimous active en-couragement of the members to continue on with Jennifer Dannheim and Andrew B. Gill remaining as co-Chairs, gives us confidence to propose to ICES that WGMBRED should have another three years. With the growing interest in marine renewable energy devel-opments we believe that the activity of the WG will be of key importance for ICES in the event that they need to advise on marine renewable energy developments in relation to the benthic ecosystem.
    TitelICES CM 2015/SSGEPI: 17
    Aantal pagina's49
    StatusGepubliceerd - 2015

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