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Marine Mammal Monitoring in Broadhaven Bay

dolphins.jpg Project Status - Active
Start Year: 2001
End Year: ongoing
Funding Body: Enterprise Energy Ireland Ltd.

Geographic Area: County Mayo, north west Ireland
Local Study Area: Broadhaven Bay

Project Co-Ordinator: Dr. Ross Culloch
CMRC Contact: Dr. Michelle Cronin


Abstract

Under a development plan for the CORRIB gas field off western Ireland, Enterprise Energy Ireland Ltd. commissioned the Coastal & Marine Resources Centre (CMRC), University College Cork to conduct an independent cetacean (i.e. whale & dolphin) monitoring programme in northwest Ireland in 2001-02.

Due to the findings of preliminary field surveys in 2001 the study’s remit was expanded to include other marine mammal species recorded in the study area.

The results of marine mammal monitoring conducted between October 2001 and October 2002 are presented in a report available from Shell Exploration and Petroleum Ireland Ltd. Broadhaven Bay SAC and its neighbouring coastal waters represent an important area for marine mammals and many other species.

A programme of marine mammal monitoring should be continued, at a minimum during the CORRIB development’s marine phases, to safeguard these protected species from potential impacts. Research efforts were continued in 2005 when marine construction work was resumed for several months.


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