Swordfish spotted at Scottish wind farm

by James Bernthal-Hooker in Windfarms 28/01/2020 SSE Renewables

The Seagreen offshore wind farm played host to a very unusual guest last year. SSE Renewables has reported that its aerial wildlife surveys captured images of a swordfish swimming in the western North Sea wind farm site, 27km off the coast of Scotland. It is only the second time a swordfish has been seen in Scottish waters.

The fish was identified by HiDef Aerial Surveying Ltd, which was carrying out digital aerial surveys of the site in August 2019, as part of a wider survey exercise involving SSE Renewables, EDF Renewables and Red Rock Power Limited.

Analysing the footage, ecologists were surprised by a shape in the waters. They were able to zoom up to 700% so were easily able to identify the strange shape as that of a swordfish. Swordfish are not used to chilly waters, preferring the Caribbean and Mediterranean waters. The two-metre long fish was recorded very close to the sea surface.

HiDef Associate Director Martin Scott said: “We have seen some incredible things over the years but this one is particularly gratifying. It shows how aware and alert our team are, not just on a day to day basis, but when confronted with an obscure oddity. With the aircraft flying at 200km per hour and 1800 feet up it really does just go to show how good our systems are at recording wildlife.”  

Lis Royle, Seagreen’s Consent Manager, added: “We’re pleased we’ve been able to help record the second ever spotting of a swordfish in Scottish waters.  

“It’s our duty to ensure that our projects are built with a detailed understanding of the natural environment and whilst we don’t expect the Seagreen swordfish to make an appearance again it was great to be able to capture this incredibly rare sighting during our survey work

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