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Thomas Dahlgren talks in this video about the impact from offshore wind on fish.

Most of the concern about impact on the marine environment from offshore wind farms (OWF) is likely that it will have a negative impact on fish. The possible impact on fish communities and the production of fish has also been the objective for most of the research activities at offshore wind farms carried out to date. This lecture covers main conclusions from this research with examples from the literature.

Learning outcome.

After having watched this video, you should know:

  • There is evidence that fish abundancies increase in OWE.
  • Less studies address pelagic fish species.
  • Reasons for increase include exclusion of fishing from the OWE installation.
  • In particular bottom trawling has a negative impact on fish, not only as the target species but also the ecosystem as a whole reducing e.g., access to food and degrading habitats important for reproduction.
  • No evidence from field studies that fish are impacted by low intensity stress from e.g., noise or EM fields.


Offshore windfarms may have an effect similar to a marine protected area (MPA) in that fishing (and in particular bottom trawling) is likely not allowed. This may have both positive and negative effects on the fishing at a regional scale.

What are those effects?

Suggested literature

Some references may require a user account for the journal.

Meta-Analysis of Finfish Abundance at Offshore Wind Farms Reviews in Fisheries Science & Aquaculture 27, 242–260. .

Changes in fish communities on a small spatial scale, an effect of increased habitat complexity by an offshore wind farm. Marine Environmental Research 126, 26–36.

Effect of an offshore wind farm on the viviparous eelpout: Biometrics, brood development and population studies in Lillgrund, Sweden. Ecological Indicators 84, 1–6.

Gimpel, A., Werner, K.M., Bockelmann, F.-D., Haslob, H., Kloppmann, M., Schaber, M., Stelzenmüller, V., 2023. Ecological effects of offshore wind farms on Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) in the southern North Sea. Science of The Total Environment 878, 162902.

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Introduction to Offshore Wind Energy

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