The Pathway Program – a multi-year collaborative initiative between OERA and the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines and Natural Resources Canada – in June released a report incorporating international expertise on passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) in high tidal flow environments.
The report suggests that recent advances in data collection and processing techniques allow for effective monitoring of harbour porpoises and other marine mammals in highly energetic tidal stream environments. The report advocates the need for open dialogue between regulators and the research community, noting it is a key part of designing effective, achievable, regulator-approved monitoring programmes.
The report was compiled following an online workshop in April which brought together over 40 PAM experts from Canada, Denmark, UK and USA. Facilitated by the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), the online workshop enabled information-sharing about PAM work being completed as part of the Pathway Program and elsewhere in the world. The event facilitated knowledge sharing between research institutes, industry and stakeholders to build future collaboration opportunities in the sector. The Pathway Program aims to improve the understanding of fish and marine mammal interactions with tidal energy devices by defining, testing and validating an environmental monitoring solution for the instream tidal energy industry and increasing regulatory confidence in monitoring capabilities.