They are being hailed as the future of green energy, offering clean electricity for millions of Scots.
Seventeen new offshore wind farms are set to be built after an auction of seabed plots off the Scottish coast earlier this year.
The wind farms, around Scotland’s east, north east and north coasts, will reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by around one eighth.
But not everyone has welcomed the plan for giant new turbines. RSPB Scotland criticised the announcement, claiming it could “accelerate some seabird species towards extinction in Scotland”.
Now the threat to whales, dolphins, porpoises and other marine mammals is to be studied more closely.
Naturescot, Scotland’s nature agency, is to appoint a full-time Marine Mammal Ecologist.
The agency’s advert says: “Naturescot are committed to supporting the transformation required to tackle both the climate emergency and biodiversity loss crisis to ensure a nature-rich future with sustainable use of our seas and land.”
The post will involve developing conservation measures to help protect sea mammals. Last year a leading scientist warned the Scottish Government that expanding the size and range of marine industries while simultaneously recovering the natural environment “seems counter intuitive”.
Dr Sam Collin, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s living seas manager, said the “most effective way to enhance our seas is to reduce the pressure from human activity”.
In March a study examining the effects of excessive underwater noise on whales, dolphins and porpoises revealed that underwater noise disturbance created by humans can be mistaken by sea creatures as coming from predators, causing them to stop foraging for food and, therefore, become weakened and more vulnerable.
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