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Shipping

There are two risks involving shipping which are both relatively easy to solve.

Wind turbines produce a shadow zone and a blind zone in the radio phone transmissions of small ships. The other turbines, ships and people in the wind farm cannot be identified, unless the objects move.

This is easily solved by adding an extra radar to the SRK (ScheldeRadarKeten). Smaller ships will be visible again and the blind and shadow zones are considerably reduced. To increase the general safety of shipping in the area, MUMM recommends a radar on the proposed position of the western end of the Bligh Bank.

Because of the growing concern involving illegal activities at sea (such as drug transfers, the transport of illegal immigrants, fish transfers) and the risk of maritime terrorism, it is recommended to subject the wind farms to direct, local surveillance.

Apart from this the wind farm poses a new danger for shipping. That is why we need to investigate meticulously and proactively with the competent authorities what would be the best way to inform sailors about the work in this area and to provide the necessary signage during the activities.

This could be done with regular announcements on channel 16 by the MRCC (Kustwachtcentrale - Afdeling Scheepvaartbegeleiding). We also recommend drawing up guidelines for shipping in the area of the works and the wind farm. These guidelines can be communicated via the website, ports and fish mines, and will contribute to the safety in the area.

(Source: Environment Impact Evaluation Belwind, December 2007)