SNH Commissioned Report 783: Understanding the potential effects of wave energy devices on kelp biotopes
This report improves understanding of the potential changes to kelp habitats that could occur as a result of the development of wave energy renewables projects around Scotland’s coasts. An objective risk assessment found that kelp habitats have the potential to be affected by site-specific disturbance by wave energy projects. However, given the extent of kelp habitats in Scotland and the high levels of natural disturbance tolerated by these habitats, the magnitude of the predicted impact is not considered significant on a regional and national scale. A framework for assessing the significance of the impacts of wave energy projects on kelp biotopes is provided as a tool to assist regulators, developers and their consultants that will inform impact assessments. Recommendations for best practice, mitigation and monitoring are outlined.