At the launch of Phase II of COME3T, the Steering Committee of the project, which brings together industrialists, consultancy firms, environmental associations, universities, regions and government departments, defined two questions for the experts:
- Is it possible to assess a relationship between the gains and losses for the marine ecosystem of the reef effect induced by wind farms and their connection?
- How can the effects of an operational wind farm on marine mammals be assessed?
Following the call for applications launched in the autumn, two expert committees were set up to answer these two questions:
Expert panel for the reef effect
- Gilles Lecaillon, President (Ecocean)
- Philippe Lenfant, Professor and Head of the Centre for Research on Marine Ecosystems (University of Perpignan)
- Pierre Thiriet, Head of DCSMM – Scientific Pilot Coastal Marine Fish and Cephalopods (OFB/MNHN)
- Emma Araignous, Research Engineer in Ecosystem Modelling (France Energies Marines)
- Shawn Booth, Research Engineer in Food Webs modelling (France Energies Marines)
- Georges Safi, Ecosystem Approach Research Framework (France Energies Marines)
Expert panel for marine mammals
- Jean-Luc Jung, Lecturer in marine mammal biology and genetics (University of Western Brittany)
- Charlotte Curé, Researcher in environmental acoustics (Cerema)
- Cécile Vincent, Lecturer in ecology and conservation of marine mammals (La Rochelle University)
- Hélène Labach, Director (MIRACETI)
- Ludivine Martinez, Head of Cohabys Unit (La Rochelle University)
- Cécile Bon, Project Manager on interactions between ORE and marine megafauna (France Energies Marines)
Each of the expert panels met in early December for an initial working group meeting aimed at clarifying the scope of the questions posed and identifying possible sub-themes. In spite of the distant mode, France Energies Marines was able to propose a format allowing a lot of interactivity and constructive brainstorming.
In January, the 2nd working groups were held, focusing on the definitions of important terms related to the two topics dealt with: reef effect and assessment of effects on marine mammals. This was also an opportunity to refine the plan for future bulletins and to reflect on summary figures.