Commercial cuttlefish exposed to noise from offshore windmill construction show short-range acoustic trauma
Rights accessOpen Access
Except where otherwise noted, content on this work is licensed under a Creative Commons license : Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International
The installation of marine renewable energy devices (MREDs, wind turbines and converters of wave, tidal and ocean thermal energy) has increased quickly in the last decade. There is a lack of knowledge concerning the effects of MREDs on benthic invertebrates that live in contact with the seabed. The European common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) is the most abundant cephalopod in the Northeast Atlantic and one of the three most valuable resources for English Channel fisheries. A project to build an offshore wind farm in the French bay of Saint-Brieuc, near the English Channel, raised concern about the possible acoustic impact on local cuttlefish communities. In this study, consisting of six exposure experiments, three types of noise were considered: 3 levels of pile-driving and 3 levels of drilling. The objectives were to assess possible associated changes in hatching and larva survival, and behavioural and ultrastructural effects on sensory organs of all life stages of S. officinalis populations. After exposure, damage was observed in the statocyst sensory epithelia (hair cell extrusion) in adults compared to controls, and no anti-predator reaction was observed. The exposed larvae showed a decreased survival rate with an increasing received sound level when they were exposed to maximum pile-driving and drilling sound levels (170 dB re 1 µPa2 and 167 dB re 1 µPa2, respectively). However, sound pressure levels's lower than 163 dB re 1 µPa2 were not found to elicit severe damage. Simulating a scenario of immobile organisms, eggs were exposed to a combination of both pile driving and drilling as they would be exposed to all operations without a chance to escape. In this scenario a decrease of hatching success was observed with increasing received sound levels.
CitationSole, M. [et al.]. Commercial cuttlefish exposed to noise from offshore windmill construction show short-range acoustic trauma. "Environmental pollution", Novembre 2022, vol. 312, article 119853, p. 1-13