Tagging seals near the Borssele location

Wageningen Marine Research (WMR) tagged ten harbour seals and ten grey seals in order to study how they respond to pile-driving for the Borssele wind farms.

IMG_2693Several Wozep research projects will be conducted in the coming year in connection with the Borssele offshore wind farms. Wageningen Marine Research, with Sophie Brasseur as the project leader, tagged harbour seals and grey seals in the coastal waters of Zeeland to learn more about how the construction work impacts these animals.

Despite the complex requirements of the Dutch Nature Conservation Act and the application of legislation relating to nitrogen deposition, the permit process for this project was completed swiftly. In early September 2019, a well-organised tagging team successfully tagged ten harbour seals and ten grey seals in good weather conditions over the course of two days.

The initial data for these tagged animals are now becoming available (see Figure 1 for the swimming tracks of the tagged harbour seals and Figure 2 for the grey seals). Pile-driving for the Borssele wind farms will begin in October/November 2019. The tags will stay on the animals until spring 2020, producing information about their behaviour throughout the construction period. Eventually, the tag data will be linked to the pile-driving data and other variables so that we can draw clearer conclusions about how the seals may be affected.

3. zeehonden taggen gps beeld 1

Figure 1. the swimming tracks of tagged harbour seals (Source: WMR)

3. zeehonden taggen gps beeld 2

Figure 2. the swimming tracks of tagged grey seals (Source: WMR)