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MRSea: Statistical Modelling of Bird and Cetacean Distributions in Offshore Renewables Development Areas

On behalf of Marine Scotland, the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) at the University of St Andrews has produced guidance on statistical modelling of bird and cetacean distributions in offshore renewables development areas.

The first stage comprised the development of the MRSea statistical analysis software package. This allows analysis of at-sea survey data to identify statistically significant change in abundance or redistribution of animals following the construction of marine renewables developments, or other marine activities. The software is of relevance to impact monitoring, but can also be used in site characterisation studies. The MRSea project was delivered in 2014 and below you will find the commissioning specification, guidance documents and user guide that support the modelling and software below:

The second stage was the development of the MRSeaPower analysis package that allows the user to assess whether the level of survey effort that they propose at an offshore renewables project would be sufficient to detect the level of impact that they were interested in. The software is of relevance to those undertaking post-construction impact assessments for offshore renewables, or those considering more general long-term monitoring. The MRSeaPower project was delivered in 2017 and you will find the project summary and other supporting documents below:

Whilst developed with seabirds and marine mammals in mind, the MRSea and MRSeaPower packages are relevant to other taxa, and also terrestrial environments.

Anyone interested in MRSea workshops should complete the CREEM expression of interest form.

The MRSea and MRSeaPower software and subsequent updates can be found on the CREEM website