What sort of monitoring of the fish population in the test site will occur?

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We have performed three types of analyses/monitoring for fish at the site: (1) a pelagic fish acoustic survey (to characterize primarily herring), (2) an acoustic receiver study (which picks up tagged fish such as sturgeon, dogfish, salmon and other fish with carrying tags) (3) a remotely operated vehicle survey (this is an underwater vehicle that videos the bottom) and (4) an analysis of the Maine-New Hampshire Inshore Trawl Survey.

The ROV video survey represented our best chance at picking up flounder species. We observed summer flounder, winter flounder and four spot flounder at the site although not at the densities observed at other locations along the coast. For instance, while winter flounder are the tenth most abundant fish in the Maine New Hampshire survey, they are the 17th most abundant fish at the test site. Like many structures deployed in the ocean, there is an expectation that the two turbines may increase the abundance of demersal fish such as flounder. This effect is sometimes called the reef effect. For instance, the Block Island project reports a significant increase in recreational fishing in the vicinity of that offshore wind project.

After the platforms and turbines are installed, we will repeat the Remotely Operated Vehicle survey to determine if, in fact, there is a ‘reef effect’ and whether the fish community changes. Also, acoustic receivers will be re-deployed to monitor for acoustically tagged fish such as sturgeon and salmon.

MAV has shared studies that we have completed with Monhegan Energy Task Force. They are posted on the Monheganenergy.info site at: http://www.monheganenergy.info/#resources.