Scientists say underwater turbines may pose risk to diving seabirds
Subsea turbines along the Scottish coastline could be a hazard to deep-diving seabirds, new research has revealed.
Onshore wind farm developments have frequently been criticised as a danger to birds, particularly birds of prey such as eagles and ospreys.
But developers of wave power projects could now face similar accusations.
Scientists studying seabird behaviour in the Pentland Firth claim black guillemots could be endangered when they dive underwater for fish.
The birds dive as deep as 40 metres and can stay underwater for more than two minutes.
The researchers at the Environmental Research Institute at Thurso are looking at potential conflicts between marine life and 11 wave tidal turbine sites earmarked to go ahead in the firth.
Guillemots and great skuas on the islands of Stroma and Hoy were fitted with tracking devices as little was known about their movements, unlike other species such as gannets and kittiwakes.
The researchers admit the data obtained was limited, as many of the tagged birds managed to shed the devices.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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