EMFs from Underwater Power Cables: A Threat to Marine Life

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Underwater power cables, particularly those associated with  offshore wind farms, have increasingly become a source of concern due to their potential effects on marine life. A recent study published in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering sheds light on the impact of electromagnetic fields (EMF) generated by underwater power cables on lobster larvae. The findings reveal that exposure to EMF can result in impaired swimming abilities and an increased likelihood of deformities in lobster larvae. This discovery raises important implications for society and emphasizes the need for greater mindfulness towards wildlife conservation.

Lobster Larvae Impairment:

The study found that lobster larvae exposed to EMF from underwater power cables struggle with compromised swimming abilities. These larvae were almost three times more likely to fail swimming tests compared to their  non-exposed counterparts. This impairment in swimming capabilities can have severe consequences for lobster populations, as swimming is essential for their survival and dispersal. It raises concerns about their ability to find suitable habitats and avoid predators, ultimately threatening their overall survival.

Learn more about how 5G technology might be affecting you in hidden ways  here. And want to know how different factors affect your exposure? Read more  here – and  here for how proximity in particular might be affecting you. 

Specific Deformities Observed:

In addition to swimming impairments, the study also revealed a higher occurrence of deformities in lobster larvae exposed to EMF. The most common deformities observed included bent and reduced tail sections. These deformities likely contribute to the compromised swimming abilities observed in the larvae. Furthermore, some exposed lobster larvae displayed disrupted eye development or had puffy and swollen bodies, further highlighting the potential harmful effects of EMF on their overall health and development.

Crabs vs. Lobsters:

Interestingly, the study also compared the effects of EMF on crabs, another commercially important species. While crab larvae exposed to EMF exhibited smaller sizes, indicating interference with their development, they did not display immediate deformities or swimming impairments like lobsters. This contrast between crabs and lobsters suggests that different species may respond differently to EMF exposure, making it crucial to consider both species in future research and conservation efforts.

Interested in learning more about the intersection between wildlife and EMF radiation? Read more here, and here on how bees are affected. Also read here about how cell phone towers are also detrimental for society – and how you could be affected in unforeseen ways. 

Implications for Society:

The findings of this study have wider implications for society and highlight the need for greater mindfulness towards wildlife conservation. The rapid expansion of offshore wind farms and the associated infrastructure pose potential risks to marine life. As we strive to decarbonize our energy supply and transition to sustainable sources, we must ensure that our actions do not harm the delicate balance of marine ecosystems. Burying the cables in the seafloor is one potential solution to mitigate the impact of EMF on marine life. However, this approach presents logistical challenges and may require careful planning and additional financial resources.

Call for Mindful Wildlife Conservation:

The implications of this study emphasize the importance of considering the potential environmental impacts of human activities. Balancing our energy needs with the preservation of biodiversity and wildlife is crucial to safeguarding our planet’s ecosystems. It serves as a timely reminder that we must prioritize the conservation of marine life, recognizing their vulnerability to anthropogenic factors such as EMF exposure. Collaborative efforts among policymakers, researchers, and industry stakeholders are necessary to ensure that future projects are developed with sufficient consideration for wildlife protection.

The impact of underwater power cables on lobster larvae highlights the need for society to be more mindful of wildlife conservation. The impairments in swimming abilities and the increased likelihood of deformities among exposed lobster larvae underscore the potential risks that electromagnetic fields from underwater cables pose to marine life. As we pursue renewable energy sources, we must apply a precautionary approach and prioritize the preservation of biodiversity. By integrating wildlife conservation into our energy development plans, we can create a sustainable future that protects both our planet and its ecosystems.

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