Natural High-Tech: The Great Scallop as an Environmental Sensor

Year

2018

Organisation

RTE & TBM Environment

Description

This project is assessing whether temporarily increased turbidity and noise levels caused by the installation of new subsea cables have an impact on seabed ecosystems. Growth ring rates and behaviour of Great Scallop (Pecten maximus) are used as indicators for such impacts since they are particularly sensitive to changes in their environment.

 

Highlights:

  • The practice addresses an important knowledge gap: very little research has been conducted on the role of increased turbidity and noise linked to the installation of transmission cables in seabeds so far
  • The global distribution of marine molluscs suggests that this approach could be applicable in most marine environments and contribute to improving practices in future offshore wind farms

 

Main information:

This project is assessing the potential impact of temporarily increased turbidity and noise levels on seabed ecosystems. The French TSO RTE in collaboration with TBM Environment are testing whether changes in the growth record of organisms naturally present in the area can serve as indicators of ecosystem disturbances linked to the installation of transmission cables in shallow coastal marine areas. The submitted practice is the result of several years of interdisciplinary research on Great Scallop growth ring.