Effect of a new offshore gas platform on harbor porpoise in the Dogger Bank

Offshore Oil and Gas (O&G) exploration and production has been cycling from cradle to grave for over 100 years, spanning many generations of marine fauna. Despite global occurrence of offshore infrastructure, implications of their presence for apex predators, including cetaceans, is under-studied. We analyzed data from autonomous underwater passive-echolocation-click detectors (C-PODs) deployed at an offshore […]

Effects of pile driving sound playbacks and cadmium co-exposure on the early life stage development of the Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus

Marine Pollution Bulletin, 179, 113667 (2022)DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.113667 There is an urgent need to understand how organisms respond to multiple, potentially interacting drivers in today’s world. The effects of the pollutants anthropogenic sound (pile driving sound playbacks) and waterborne cadmium were investigated across multiple levels of biology in larval and juvenile Norway lobster, Nephrops norvegicus under controlled […]

Comparing distribution of harbour porpoise using generalized additive models and hierarchical Bayesian models with integrated nested Laplace approximation

Ecological Modelling, 470, 110011, (2022)DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2022.110011 Species Distribution Models (SDMs) are used regularly to develop management strategies, but many modelling methods ignore the spatial nature of data. To address this, we compared fine-scale spatial distribution predictions of harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) using empirical aerial-video-survey data collected along the east coast of Scotland in August and September […]

Influence of offshore oil and gas structures on seascape ecological connectivity

Offshore platforms, subsea pipelines, wells and related fixed structures supporting the oil and gas (O&G) industry are prevalent in oceans across the globe, with many approaching the end of their operational life and requiring decommissioning. Although structures can possess high ecological diversity and productivity, information on how they interact with broader ecological processes remains unclear. […]

Cetacean distribution in relation to oceanographic features at the Kerguelen Plateau

The Kerguelen Plateau in the south-eastern Indian Ocean is one of the most isolated and understudied regions on earth. As part of the Kerguelen Plateau Drifts project, Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) data were collected during a seismic survey in the austral summer (January–February 2020). Relationships between observation effort, cetacean sightings, seismic operations, and oceanographic variables […]

Spatio-temporal variation in harbour porpoise distribution and foraging across a landscape of fear (PDF)

Understanding spatiotemporally varying animal distributions can inform ecological understanding of species’ behavior (e.g., foraging and predator/prey interactions) and support development of management and conservation measures. Data from an array of echolocation-click detectors (C-PODs) were analyzed using Bayesian spatiotemporal modeling to investigate spatial and temporal variation in occurrence and foraging activity of harbor porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) […]

Predictive capacity of Ecopath with Ecosim: model performance and ecological indicators’ response to uncertainty (PDF)

The ecosystem modelling complex ‘Ecopath with Ecosim’ has been implemented extensively in the field of marine science; however, despite its widespread application, descriptions of its functionality remain arcane in the literature. This study conducts an evaluation of the software’s prediction capacity using eight published Ecopath models. Response of six ecosystem-status indicators to four basic input […]

Prediction of marine mammal auditory-impact risk from Acoustic Deterrent Devices used in Scottish aquaculture

Acoustic Deterrent Devices (ADDs) are used worldwide to deter pinnipeds from predating fish-aquaculture facilities. Desk-based noise-propagation modelling of six commercial ADD models, and a ‘fictional’ ADD was performed, the latter involving alternating source level, frequency, duty cycle, noise-exposure duration, and number of ADDs active simultaneously. Potential auditory impacts on marine mammals were explored using the […]

Climate-driven deoxygenation elevates fishing vulnerability for the ocean’s widest ranging shark (PDF)

Climate-driven expansions of ocean hypoxic zones are predicted to concentrate pelagic fish in oxygenated surface layers, but how expanding hypoxia and fisheries will interact to affect threatened pelagic sharks remains unknown. Here, analysis of satellite-tracked blue sharks and environmental modelling in the eastern tropical Atlantic oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) shows shark maximum dive depths decreased […]

Application of a multibeam echosounder to document changes in animal movement and behaviour around a tidal turbine structure (PDF)

Changes in animal movement and behaviour at fine scales (tens of metres) in immediate proximity to tidal stream turbine structures are largely unknown and have implications for risks of animal collision with turbine blades. This study used upward-facing multibeam echosounder data to detect and track animal movement comprising fish, diving seabirds, and marine mammals. Measurements […]