The Scottish Wildlife Trust has dealt another blow to the offshore renewable energy industry with the launch of a report calling for greater scrutiny into the effect of tidal, wave and wind projects on animal and marine life.
Writing in the report, called Living Seas, the charity has demanded better planning for offshore marine renewable developments and is calling on the Scottish Government to exercise greater diligence when considering marine planning proposals.
It argues that species such as dolphins, sea birds, seals and basking sharks could be at risk if sea beds and marine habitats are disturbed by offshore devices.
"Ensuring we have healthy seas is a vital part of protecting Scotland's natural environment," said Tony King, head of policy at SWT.
"Marine renewable energy is undoubtedly a huge opportunity for Scotland and will help us achieve important carbon emissions reduction targets. But the roll out of renewables must be done carefully if we are to safeguard the fragile marine habitats on which so many of our iconic marine species depend.
"At the moment, the environmental impacts of proposed marine energy developments are simply not being considered in the way they should if we are to achieve a truly sustainable industry."