Institute for Energy Transition
dedicated to Marine Renewable Energies
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BENTHOSCOPE

Acoustic index of benthic resources  on hard substrates for the assessment  of impacts from tidal stream turbines

Projet description

The BENTHOSCOPE project’s objective is to diagnose  the state and trends  of benthic populations  of a rocky marine habitat  by listening to the sounds they produce, rather like  a stethoscope is used  in the field of medicine. The benthos is the assemblage of organisms living near the seafloor and a vital compartment for the functioning of ecosystems in coastal environments. It also holds economic, heritage and iconic stakes within these environments, which are also the preferred areas for deploying facilities to produce power from marine renewable energies (MRE).
  
The rich biota in the benthos will therefore be described using passive acoustics. There are several advantages to this monitoring tool, including access to indicators from the living environment (their sound production), its non-intrusive nature, high temporal resolution, affordable cost and the possibility  of studying marine ecosystems  over the long term.
  
Thanks to this operational method, the following transfer functions will be measured on the scale  of populations: biological richness (biomass and diversity), spatial variability, temporal variability. The project will take on scientific and technical challenges on one of the first sites where stream turbines are to be deployed in France.

Objectives

  • To carry out the first acoustic description of the benthos on a hard substrate and  in a strong current.
  • To develop methods which are innovative because they provide quantitative environmental monitoring of the potential impacts of stream turbines on the benthic compartment of hard substrates, for which conventional methods are lacking.

Partners

BENTHOSCOPE project partners