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FaunaGuard: Minimising potential impact of generated under water sound

FaunaGuard: Minimising potential impact of generated under water sound


An acoustic device that safely and temporarily deters various marine fauna species, using specialised underwater acoustics. That fits our philosophy to care for marine life. Our clients around the world specifically request us to use FaunaGuard on projects. Van Oord and marine mammal research company SEAMARCO have developed the FaunaGuard as a solution for meeting environmental regulations in marine construction activities. It is an innovative system to use safe levels of underwater acoustics and deter marine mammals and fish temporarily from active construction zones. 

How does it work?

The philosophy of FaunaGuard is to make optimal use of the hearing capabilities of the various target species and focus sounds using modern acoustic techniques. FaunaGuard consists of sound emitting and receiving equipment that allows users to check effectiveness. Each module is purpose-built for a target species, although it is possible to combine several modules into one device. The different sounds are based on the hearing range and sensitivity of the species. 

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On the job

Van Oord has used FaunaGuard on different projects around the world since 2010. The first application was in Sweden, where drilling and blasting activities were a hazard to the fish. By introducing low-frequency specialised sound, the impact was minimised to the client’s satisfaction. The second application on a similar project in Brazil called for an addition in species representation and focused also on dolphins. After that the FaunaGuard porpoise module has walked the complete path from theoretical sound development, basin tests to determine behavioural response levels and field tests to demonstrate effectivity. Throughout the years the FaunaGuard has been deployed during the construction of several wind farms such as Eneco Luchterduinen, Gemini, and Norther (Belgium).

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The porpoise module is the first module of the FaunaGuard that is already commercially available. In collaboration, Ace Aquatec and Van Oord will further develop the other modules and bring them to the market. This requires both hardware developments and continuous research on sounds and hearing capabilities to develop further species-specific modules. For this, Van Oord and Ace Aquatec have formed a strategic partnership aiming to make the various FaunaGuard modules available to all marine contractors and other interested parties.

This partnership brings together the complimentary expertise of two innovation leaders in their field, and our systems and environmentally responsible ethos make this a win both for our businesses and for the environment. We look forward to supporting this exciting industry with our advanced systems which conjoin the technical expertise of Ace Aquatec with the experience and sounds that Van Oord has developed in their FaunaGuard innovation.

Nathan Pyne–Carter, Managing Director of Ace Aquatec

Related U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

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