Debate over whale protection re-ignited

In Germany, the debate over whale protection has been re-ignited: Ten nature conservation organizations, which are jointly active on this issue, see "a variety of critical and questionable conclusions and substantive gaps" in the sound insulation concept for the construction of offshore wind parks, which was recently presented by the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), their preliminary statement says.The conservationists particularly see the pile driving during the construction of the installations as a threat to the whale population. According to new information, the German North Sea beyond the 12 nautical mile zone is especially affected, where the largest part of the offshore wind park is planned. Current publications speak of over 50,000 animals.Appropriate noise protection measures are part of the wind park approval process by the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency. However, it is up to the respective company to decide on the form and implementation of these measures. The nature conservation organizations are advising the use of new techniques, such as low-noise foundation methods.

Heike Wells

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