Interactions Between Tidal Energy and Marine Wildlife


  • Dr Gordon Hastie
  • Dr Doug Gillespie
  • Dr Carol Sparling

Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), School of Biology

Growth in the tidal energy industry, which is important for climate change mitigation, has the potential to be hampered by uncertainties about impacts of marine renewables on marine mammal populations. The Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) developed a unique research programme to quantify the interactions between tidal turbines and marine mammals, and to provide developers and regulators with the tools for appropriate monitoring. The results are being used by UK and international governments to make decisions about tidal developments and to develop strategic plans for the tidal energy industry. Ultimately the research is enabling the environmentally sustainable growth of the renewable energy industry.

Atlantis tidal turbine ready for deployment (top).
Monitoring collision risks between dolphins and tidal turbines (bottom left).
Track of a porpoise past an operational tidal turbine (bottom right).

Photography and image production:
‘Atlantis tidal turbine ready for deployment’ – SIMEC Atlantis Energy
‘Monitoring collision risks between dolphins and tidal turbines’ – Gordon Hastie, SMRU
‘Tracking a porpoise past an operational tidal turbine’ – Doug Gillespie, SMRU