On the Compatibility of Offshore Wind Farms and Marine Protected Areas

The race for space in the marine environment urges the consideration of co-locating human activities at sea. The recently proliferating offshore wind farms pose threats to and at the same time, offer possibilities for marine conservation and restoration. MARECO investigates options for mitigating undesired and promoting desired effects of offshore wind farms to natural values in the yet to be developed Belgian “Princess Elisabeth” wind farm zone. We address knowledge gaps related to a science-based advice on its co-location with the Belgian “Vlaamse Banken” MPA. These comprise seabird collision risks, attraction of non-indigenous species, effects of electro-magnetic fields, as well as possibilities for adding value to prevailing natural gravel beds, among other.

Partners: Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (BE), Research Institute Nature and Forest (BE), Pangalia Environmental (UK)