Behavioral effects of sound sources from offshore renewable energy construction on the black sea bass (Centropristis striata) and longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii)

T. Aran Mooney, Associate Scientist, Biology Department Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Abstract

With development of offshore wind installations on the East coast of the US, there is a requirement to understand how noise from authorized activities may be impacting commercially and recreationally important fish and invertebrate species found in offshore renewable energy planning areas along the Atlantic coast. Here I propose to evaluate the behavioral and physiological effects imposed on the commercially important longfin squid in the presence of sound and vibration occurring during the construction (e.g., pile driving and construction vessels) and general operation of an offshore wind facility. We will also address hearing (sound sensitivity) for this squid and black sea bass. Both are ecologically and commercially vital species for which sound-sensitivities are poorly understood. Impacts to fisheries and animal behavior have been suggested by commercial fisherman. Representative, sexually mature animals will be exposed to both the pressure and particle velocities replicating sound sources involved in the construction of offshore wind farms in a well-calibrated, controlled environment (laboratory). Results will be conveyed to NOAA collaborators and the scientific community. This study will aid in evaluating the impacts that may reduce the quality of essential habitat necessary to fish for feeding and breeding.