Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Impacts on Elasmobranch (sharks, rays, and skates) and American Lobster Movement and Migration from Direct Current Cables

Lead/Team: J. King, Z. Hutchison, P. Sigray, H. He and A. Gill.

This project had five major components: 1) A synthesis of existing information published subsequent to the report entitled “Effects of EMFs from Undersea Power Cables on Elasmobranchs and Other Marine Species” (Normandeau et al., 2011) on EMF and the potential effects on marine species; 2) Field surveys to characterize the EMF from two high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables; the Cross Sound Cable (CSC) and the Neptune Cable; 3) A computer model to predict the EMF generated by HVDC cables and a comparison of EMF model predictions with EMF field measurements for validation and to determine if the model could be extrapolated to higher capacity cables that are likely to be installed in the future; 4) A statistically robust field experiment that would detect potential effects of EMF from HVDC cables on the movements of marine species (American lobster, Homarus americanus and Little skate, Leucoraja erinacea) of concern; and 5) An integration, interpretation and evaluation of the multidisciplinary findings. EMFs produced effects on the behavior of lobsters and skates. It is unlikely that the effects produced by a single DC cable would translate into impacts at the population level. 2014 – 2017.

Funder: U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

Read the entire study here.