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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

In the United States, the link between the death of whales and wind energy is under investigation

$26 million has been allocated for research. At the request of the State of New Jersey, the projects are being funded by offshore wind farm companies Orsted and Atlantic Shores. Similar studies are underway in states from Maine to South Carolina, officials said.

Wind farm makers Vineyard Wind and Ørsted, for their part, said they were paying close attention to the safety of marine life. However, it is precisely to the prevention and minimization of harm to whales and other marine species during the construction and operation of offshore wind farms that experts will have to pay increased attention, reports Fortune.

In New Jersey, they will place listening devices on the ocean floor to record the presence of whales and other marine mammals. They will also launch an underwater glider equipped with sensors capable of hearing whale communication. The program also includes tracking the movement of various types of fish.

The research was announced long before the death of the whales was politicized. Opponents of wind farms blame whale deaths on the construction of wind turbines off the coasts of New Jersey and New York. However, three federal science agencies – the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the Marine Mammal Commission – say there is no evidence linking offshore wind farms to whale deaths.

The federal government has been studying mammal deaths since 2016. Then an “unusual case of death” of humpback whales was recorded. Since then, 186 animals have died.

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