Researchers Surprised To See Seals Using Wind Farms As Hunting Grounds

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According to a study from researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, seals might be hunting for their prey at offshore wind farms. Researchers tracked the seal’s movement using global positioning system tags.

According to a study from researchers at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, seals might be hunting for their prey at offshore wind farms.

Researchers tracked the seal’s movement using global positioning system tags, and found that eleven of the harbour, or common seals that they were studying made return trips to the areas where turbines have been installed to harvest wind energy.

Results of the study show that some of the seals swam in a grid pattern through the bases of the turbines.

Experts think this is a method of hunting for fish like cod and whiting that feed off of the invertebrate animals living in the artificial reefs created by the structures.

A spokesperson for The Marine Conservation Society charity is quoted as saying: "It may be that engineering structures provide more opportunities for predators such as seals in foraging for food, although this doesn't necessarily mean that the structures make an area more productive - seals have been present in significant numbers in the areas studied already."

The researchers are now looking into the question of whether or not concentrating the seals into one area near the wind turbines actually makes them more vulnerable to other predators.

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