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Forewind, development partner for the Dogger Bank offshore wind zone, has concluded the first phase of the offshore bird and marine mammal survey.

Carried out by Gardline Environmental and HiDef Aerial Surveying, the surveys were commissioned to enable Forewind to gather information about the species and numbers of bird and marine mammal species, their distributions and seasonal variations across the 8660 km2 zone. The information will be used to help Forewind plan the layout and design of the offshore wind development proposed for Dogger Bank. Starting in January 2010, the vessels have surveyed more than 40,000 kilometres in transects, while observers recorded their findings using the collaborative offshore wind research into the environment (COWRIE) methodology. The aerial surveys also covered more than 180,000 kilometres in transects, with a bank of four digital video cameras attached to an aircraft recording all objects within a 200 metre wide swathe. The British Trust for Ornithology will use the data to do seabird population modelling and methodological reviews. Statistical modelling consultancy DMP Stats will undertake the modelling work for the marine mammal populations. While this first phase of surveys is complete, further ornithological and marine mammal surveys will be required as part of Forewind’s on-going environmental impact assessment.
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