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OFFSHORE WIND FARMS

OCEAN’s Position on Offshore Wind Farms

OCEAN supports a rapid shift to renewable energy to protect ocean ecosystems. Offshore wind energy is an important element in the suite of renewable energy sources needed to achieve the transition to renewable energy this decade. 

The impact of continued burning of fossil fuels, like coal and gas, is continuing to put our oceans and climate under threat, causing marine heatwaves that are having devastating impacts on vital ecosystems such as the Great Barrier Reef and Tasmania’s giant kelp forests.

 

 

OCEAN recognises the challenges and potential impacts of offshore wind farms on marine life. It is crucial to site these farms in locations that avoid areas critical for endangered marine life and biodiversity and consider all impacts during the construction and maintenance. Decisions must be guided by solid scientific research, and an environmental impact assessment must be conducted for each offshore wind project. 

There have been several claims that offshore wind farms kill whales. This misinformation has been used as a tactic by right-winged politicians to delay the transition to renewable energy. There has been no peer-review study to find that offshore wind development kills whales.

Community consultation is essential in offshore wind developments, especially with First Nations people to respect their culture and values. The traditional knowledge of first nations people is vital for sustainable practices.

The sonar mapping used to survey the ocean floor for wind farm development has minimal impact on marine life compared to seismic blasting which is used to locate fossil fuels such as oil and gas. Survey’s conducted for offshore wind farms only need to map tens of metres below the sea bed, compared to seismic blasting for oil and gas which will map 20km or more below the sea bed, hence why seismic blasting has a much greater impact to marine life.

If you would like to know more please read this report produced by our friends, The South West Scientific Group as well as common myths around wind farms.

In conclusion, OCEAN supports responsible renewable energy initiatives. By ensuring careful site selection, strong science, community engagement, and respect for ocean values, we can promote a sustainable future for marine environments.

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