Prefiguration of an observatory of the Gulf of Lion birdlife in interaction with floating offshore wind farms

Duration: 24 months (2019 - 2021)


In 2021, three pilot floating offshore wind farms will be operational in the Gulf of Lion. In addition, the consultation organised by the Interregional Directorate for the Mediterranean Sea made it possible to define 4 macro-zones, covering a total area of 3300 km², on which calls for tenders for commercial parks could be launched as part of the new multiannual energy programming.

The integration of infrastructure such as floating wind turbines into the complex, fragile and coveted marine coastal ecosystems is a challenge. Despite research carried out in various settings, including many scientific programmes, our understanding of marine ecosystems, integrating all their components (avifauna, plankton, ichthyofauna, mammals, etc.), is still insufficient. The development of observational data sets has often been suggested to fill this knowledge gap.

The establishment of a high-frequency observatory would provide the necessary knowledge on the interactions between floating wind turbines and ecosystems to optimize the environmental integration of commercial farms.


To propose high-frequency observatory architecture in the Gulf of Lion to study the condition and evolution of birdlife interacting with high-power floating wind farms.

Scientific and technical contents

  • Review of available knowledge and data, as well as of data currently being gathered, on Mediterranean birdlife.
  • Study and specifications of birdlife observation systems.
  • Detailed 3D mapping of Scopoli’s shearwater activity in the Gulf of Lion.
  • Birdlife migration monitoring by land-based radar.
  • Specification of the observation network architecture.
  • Test of the repercussions of a series of future Gulf of Lion wind farm installation scenarios
  • on the energy landscape of Scopoli’s shearwaters, as a model species.


Porject sheet (PDF)

Partners and funding

This project is led by Pôle Mer Méditerranée.

The total project budget is €450K.

This project receives funding from the French Agency for Energy Transition under the auspices of the call for sustainable energy research projects (2018-2019).

Photo credit: Haiderose / AdobeStock

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