Institute for Energy Transition
dedicated to Marine Renewable Energies


Prefiguration of an observatory of the Gulf of Lion birdlife in interaction with floating offshore wind farms

Duration: 2 years


In 2021, three pilot floating offshore wind farms will be operational in the Gulf of Lion. In addition, the consultation organised by the Interregional Directorate for the Mediterranean Sea made it possible to define 4 macro-zones, covering a total area of 3300 km², on which calls for tenders for commercial parks could be launched as part of the new multiannual energy programming.
The integration of infrastructure such as floating wind turbines into the complex, fragile and coveted marine coastal ecosystems is a challenge. Despite research carried out in various settings, including many scientific programmes, our understanding of marine ecosystems, integrating all their components (avifauna, plankton, ichthyofauna, mammals, etc.), is still insufficient. The development of observational data sets has often been suggested to fill this knowledge gap.
The establishment of a high-frequency observatory would provide the necessary knowledge on the interactions between floating wind turbines and ecosystems to optimize the environmental integration of commercial parks.


To propose a high-frequency observatory architecture in the Gulf of Lion to determine the state and evolution of birdlife in interaction with high-power floating wind farms.

Expected results

  • Acquisition of landbird and seabird movement data at a very fine spatial and temporal scale in the Gulf of Lion.
  • Development of an innovative predictive model based on the energy landscape concept to complement existing decision support tools.
  • Design of the architecture of an innovative observatory for the acquisition of high frequency data on the avifauna of the Gulf of Lion.

Scientific contents

  • State of the art of available knowledge as well as existing or ongoing data on avifauna in the Mediterranean.
  • Study and specifications of observation systems for birds.
  • Fine and 3D mapping of the movements of the Scopoli shearwaters in the Gulf of Lion.
  • Monitoring of land bird migration by radar.
  • Specification of the architecture of the observation network.
  • Testing the impact of a series of scenarios for the development of future wind farms in the Gulf of Lion on the energy landscapes of the Scopoli shearwaters as a model species.


Leader: Pôle Mer Méditerranée

ORNIT-EOF project partners

This project benefits from a grant from ADEME as well as a financial contribution from EDF Renewables, ENGIE and EOLFI.

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