Article

An unusual number of dead porpoises on the Baltic coast

Researchers are concerned if the series of dead finds continues.The researchers therefore demand the unconditional use of so-called bubble curtains when ramming or blasting, in which a rising curtain of air bubbles around the ramming point acts like a soundproofing wall. ..."The effectiveness of this measure is very controversial among experts," 

Does the expansion of renewable energies endanger endangered animal species? In the Baltic Sea off the Darß, the foundations for the "Baltic 1" wind farm were rammed into the seabed in the summer. An unusually large number of porpoise carcasses have now been discovered on the coast.

In the past two weeks, an unusually large number of dead porpoises have been discovered on the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The experts from the German Maritime Museum counted twelve carcasses between Warnemünde and Rügen. "This accumulation is extraordinary," said whale researcher Stefan Bräger on Wednesday of the dpa.

The causes are unclear and can no longer be precisely determined due to the severe decomposition of the animals. The researchers suspect biological causes. Young and mother animals are very susceptible after the calving period. The researchers did not initially rule out that the construction of the wind farm in the Baltic Sea off the Darß could have contributed to the accumulation.

The State Office for Agriculture and Environment (StALU) considers such a connection to be unlikely. "There is no correlation between the death of the animals and the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Does the expansion of renewable energies endanger endangered animal species? In the Baltic Sea off the Darß, the foundations for the "Baltic 1" wind farm were rammed into the seabed in the summer. An unusually large number of porpoise carcasses have now been discovered on the coast.

In the past two weeks, an unusually large number of dead porpoises have been discovered on the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The experts from the German Maritime Museum counted twelve carcasses between Warnemünde and Rügen. "This accumulation is extraordinary," said whale researcher Stefan Bräger on Wednesday of the dpa.

The causes are unclear and can no longer be precisely determined due to the severe decomposition of the animals. The researchers suspect biological causes. Young and mother animals are very susceptible after the calving period. The researchers did not initially rule out that the construction of the wind farm in the Baltic Sea off the Darß could have contributed to the accumulation.

The State Office for Agriculture and Environment (StALU) considers such a connection to be unlikely. "There is no correlation between the death of the animals and the pile-driving work," said chief officer Eckhardt Wedewardt on Wednesday when asked. The pile-driving work for the 21 wind turbines had already been completed at the end of June. In addition, the office issued conditions in order to keep the exposure to the animals as low as possible.

There has always been an increase in the number of dead porpoises found in the summer months between July and September. “When the dams calve between May and June, it is not just them that are weakened. The calves and the yearlings that have just been weaned from their mother are also particularly susceptible, ”said whale researcher Bräger. In addition, the observation pressure from the many vacationers is particularly high during these months. Compared to previous years (peak value in 2007 with 57 finds), the Stralsund researchers counted relatively few dead animals with ten carcasses up to mid-August.

The series of horrors began on August 24th, when the first dead porpoise was found on the Darß coast. "After that, there was another message almost every day to this day," said Bräger. Researchers are concerned if the series of dead finds continues.

For years, fishing has been the main cause of harbor porpoise death. Around 47 percent of the animals in which the cause of death could be determined had net tags - a sign that the marine mammals are dying in nets. For years, however, the scientists have also been warning against construction noise in offshore projects such as wind turbines and pipeline construction. The porpoises use echolocation to orient themselves; if they become numb, they die.

The researchers therefore demand the unconditional use of so-called bubble curtains when ramming or blasting, in which a rising curtain of air bubbles around the ramming point acts like a soundproofing wall. "That is the only means that can really effectively prevent the propagation of sound waves," said Bräger.

But that was exactly what the approval authority, the then StAUN in Stralsund, decided not to do when building the Baltic 1 wind farm. "The effectiveness of this measure is very controversial among experts," said office manager Wedewardt, justifying the waiver of this noise protection. For this, the office called for so-called pingers to drive the animals out of the shallow water area. In addition, detectors were used that register acoustic signals from the whales in real time.

Even if, in view of the time difference between the completion of the piling work and the dead finds, the researchers at the Maritime Museum now consider a connection to be largely unlikely, they are alarmed because the bubble curtain was dispensed with when ramming for the Darßer wind farm. Ramming sound waves could damage marine mammals within a radius of 30 kilometers, said Bräger.

Translation from German to English using Google Translate


Source: https://www.neuepresse.de/N...

SEP 8 2010
https://www.windaction.org/posts/52970-an-unusual-number-of-dead-porpoises-on-the-baltic-coast
back to top