On Monday The Daily Caller posted an article about the impact of ocean wind farms on the sonar capabilities of whales and other marine animals. It is known that wind farms impact radar when they are near airports, so it is not really a surprise that they would have an impact of the navigational systems of marine mammals. This report of the death of a family of whales near a wind farm comes from the United Kingdom.
The article states:
The U.K. coastguard received reports of a minke whale calf that had become separated from its mother Friday evening. By the next afternoon, it had been found dead at the mouth of the River Ore, and its mother washed up near Felixstowe. On Sunday, another dead adult whale surfaced, indicating that an entire family could have been killed.
…“There are studies that show that the sounds created by the operational noise of the turbines create vibrations under that may in fact disorient marine mammals like whales,” Bonnie Brady, director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association who regularly discusses the impacts of noise on marine mammals, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “In the case of what looks like this mother and calf, they go on the wrong path and end up disoriented then beaching themselves. The sound kills.”
Both construction and ordinary operations noises from offshore wind turbines can travel immense distances under water. This harms whales, dolphins, marine mammals and fish that communicate with noises in order to breed. For this reason, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) guidelines show that high noise levels can cause marine mammals like whales and dolphins to go deaf and disrupt their vocal communications.
The acoustic disturbances from constructing wind farms and from the wind farms themselves are harmful to fish and water mammals. Combined with the fact that the wind cannot be depended on to generate electricity 24/7 and a backup fossil fuel energy source is needed for those times when the wind dies down, wind energy is not yet at a point where it makes sense. In America, wind farms are killing some of our most magnificent birds. We need to either improve the wind farm technology or look in another direction for alternative energy sources.