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Planned wind park’s effects on herring to be studied

State-owned energy giant Eesti Energia has commissioned a study to see how a giant, offshore wind turbine park it hopes to build near Kihnu island might affect the area’s Baltic herring population.

“Baltic herring, like all herring, is very sensitive, and we must study how the vibration from the turbines affects its behavior,” Henn Ojaveer, a senior research fellow at the University of Tartu’s Marine Institute, told Eesti Päevaleht today.

The study, conducted by the Marine Institute, will cost 100,000 euros and should be completed in 2015.

Eesti Energia is planning to install the wind turbine plant 12 kilometers south of Kihnu, near Pärnu. It would have 55 to 100 turbines, producing a combined 500 megawatts of electricity. Construction is set to begin in 2020.

Last December, Kihnu island demanded its own, separate quota for Baltic herring, saying fishing is part of the local traditional vocation of the small island.

There are a reported 60 fishing families on the island, which has a population of 600.