News Archive / Statement regarding Norfolk seal deaths

 

Statement regarding Norfolk seal deaths

 

Recent media reports have attempted to implicate the Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm operations in the death of more than 40 seals at Blakeney Point on the Norfolk coast. Both Scira and the police have checked all equipment on vessels operating at the site and found no connection.

 

"We have not found any indications that our equipment could cause such injuries as those inflicted on the seals," say's Project Director Rune Rønvik.

 

In addition, the timing of the seal deaths does not tie in with the operational activity. The seal deaths began in December 2009 while the offshore work at the Sheringham Shoal site, 20 kilometres off the coast, started in March 2010. Seals with similar damages have also been found along the coast of Scotland and Canada.

 

Scira takes the seal deaths very seriously and is as eager for the cause to be identified as the police and local community. Since July, when there was a sudden increase in the number of seal carcasses washing ashore, significant assistance and support has been provided to the police and this will continue for as long as needed.

 

This support has included offshore visits to all vessels working on the project with inspections of any propellers or other mechanical equipment; provision of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data and other vessel movements/log books; provision of specifications of all vessels; interviews and meetings with staff and contractors.

 

The police will also join one of the project's marine mammal monitoring trips, whereby qualified observers utilise specialised equipment to ensure no animals are in the vicinity prior to any piling activity being undertaken.

 

The police investigation will continue until they have finished all their data collection and analysis.

 

Some reports have also tried to link the deaths to the dredging work in Wells Harbour, which began in October 2009. The timing, geography and mechanical specifications of the dredging vessel discount this theory. More on this can be found in this statement on the Wells Harbour Authority website: www.wellsharbour.co.uk/news1.htm

 

"We will continue to help police in whatever ways necessary and sincerely hope the cause of the deaths is identified soon as possible," said Mr Rønvik.

 

"We would urge anyone with any information concerning the death of the seals to contact the Wells and District Police on 0845 4564567."

 

For more information: please contact Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm PR & Communications Manager, Sue Vincent on mobile: +44 7768508742 or email: info@scira.co.uk.

 

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