SPECIES - Submarine PowEr Cables Interactions with Environment & associated Surveys

Do subsea power cables disturb the marine environment? What could their potential impacts on marine benthic life?


Over 5000 offshore wind turbines are now grid-connected in Europe (and this new activity is expected soon in the French economic exclusive zone !) and marine power connexions are reinforced between European countries, increasing the number of electric cables at sea. Therefore, their potential impacts on benthic habitats and species have to be investigated.


The SPECIES project aims to characterize the disturbances linked to the installation and functioning phases of subsea power cables and to better understand if ecological impacts may exist in the benthic compartment. To do so, we take into account direct interactions (impact of electromagnetic fields; habitat potential of artificial protection structures) and indirect ones (regulation of bottom fishing activities around the cables).


In situ surveys of emitted electromagnetic fields and temperature as well as potentially influenced benthic communities (both sessile and mobile species) are conducted on several functioning power cables (marine renewable energy test sites; island and transboundary connexions). Lab experiments are also achieved to study in a controlled manner the impact of magnetic fields on the behavior of two models (European lobster and the great scallop).




A PhD thesis (Bastien Taormina) has been achieved in the framework of this project.

Scientific contact:
Antoine Carlier (LEBCO), Nicolas Desroy (LER-BN) & Morgane Lejart (France Energies Marines)





Taormina B., Quillien N., Lejart M., Carlier A., Desroy N., Laurans M., D’Eu J.-F., Reynaud M., Perignon Y., Erussard H., Derrien-Courtel S., Le Gal A., Derrien R., Jolivet A., Chauvaud S., Degret V., Saffroy  D., Pagot J.-P. et Barillier A. Caractérisation des impacts potentiels des câbles électriques sous-marins associés aux projets d’énergies marines renouvelables. Plouzané : France Energies Marines Editions, 2020, 74 pages.  https://www.france-energies-marines.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/rapport-synthese-species-FR-BD.pdf

Taormina Bastien, Percheron Arthur, Marzloff Martin, Caisey Xavier, Quillien Nolwenn, Lejart Morgane, Desroy Nicolas, Dugornay Olivier, Tancray Aurelien, Carlier Antoine (2020). Succession in epibenthic communities on artificial reefs associated with marine renewable energy facilities within a tide-swept environment . Ices Journal Of Marine Science , 77(7-8), 2656-2668 . Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsaa129 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00644/75646/

Taormina Bastien, Laurans Martial, Marzloff Martin, Dufournaud Noémie, Lejart Morgane, Desroy Nicolas, Leroy Didier, Martin Stephane, Carlier Antoine (2020). Renewable energy homes for marine life: Habitat potential of a tidal energy project for benthic megafauna . Marine Environmental Research , 161, 105131 (11p.) . Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2020.105131 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00646/75801/

Taormina Bastien, Marzloff Martin, Desroy Nicolas, Caisey Xavier, Dugornay Olivier, Metral Thiesse Emmanuelle, Tancray Aurelien, Carlier Antoine (2020). Optimizing image-based protocol to monitor macroepibenthic communities colonizing artificial structures . Ices Journal Of Marine Science , 77(2), 835-845 . Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsz249 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00599/71160/

Taormina Bastien, Di Poi Carole, Agnalt Ann-Lisbeth, Carlier Antoine, Desroy Nicolas, Escobar-Lux Rosa Helena, D’eu Jean-François, Freytet Florian, Durif Caroline M.F. (2020). Impact of magnetic fields generated by AC/DC submarine power cables on the behavior of juvenile European lobster (Homarus gammarus) . Aquatic Toxicology , 220, 105401 . Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aquatox.2019.105401 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00599/71152/

Carlier Antoine, Vogel Camille, Alemany Juliette (2019). Synthèse des connaissances sur les impacts des câbles électriques sous-marins: Phases de travaux et d'exploitation. Etude du compartiment benthique et des ressources halieutiques . ODE/DYNECO/LEBCO/2019 . https://doi.org/10.13155/61975

Taormina Bastien, Bald Juan, Want Andrew, Thouzeau Gerard, Lejart Morgane, Desroy Nicolas, Carlier Antoine (2018). A review of potential impacts of submarine power cables on the marine environment: Knowledge gaps, recommendations and future directions . Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews , 96, 380-391 . Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rser.2018.07.026 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00454/56542/

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