Marine wildlife appears largely unaffected by operational wave and tidal renewable energy devices.

Scottish Natural Heritage said observations over 10 years off Orkney indicated that a variety of species “will continue to use the waters” around devices.

“A major study . . .found little evidence of any long-term effects on the use of surrounding seas by the birds and mammals living in the area,” it said.

Work also included Marine Scotland and EMEC and found that while some species relocated during construction, they soon returned.

Scottish Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said: “This strengthens our understanding of how marine mammals and seabirds respond to the installation and operation of wave and tidal turbines.”

SNH marine energy manager George Lees said: "These initial results are reassuring and show that the deployment and testing of multiple wave and tidal energy converters in the seas off Orkney over more than a decade has not had a significant impact on the diverse and abundant wildlife living there.”

Read the report here

Image: watching for wildlife (EMEC)