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Field evaluation of a sound system to reduce estuarine fish intake rates at a power plant cooling water inlet

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An acoustic deterrent system producing 20–600 Hz sound was used to repel estuarine fishes away from a power station cooling water inlet. During sound emission, total fish impingement decreased by 60%. The avoidance response varied among species from no effect to highly efficient deflection. Lampetra fluviatilis and Pleuronectiformes were less affected by the sound system while the deflection of clupeoid species was particularly effective. Average intake rates of Clupea harengus and Sprattus sprattus decreased by 94·7 and 87·9%, respectively. The results were explained as a function of species‐specific differences in hearing ability and swimming performance. In general, species without swimbladders showed no or a moderate response while intake rates of species with accessory structures increasing the hearing abilities, such as a swimbladder or a functional connection between the swimbladder and the inner ear, were significantly reduced during test periods.

Keywords: Clupea harengus; acoustic fish deterrent; cooling water intake; low frequency sound

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Fish Guidance Systems Ltd, Marine & Freshwater Biology Unit Fawley, Southampton, SO45 1TW, U.K. and 2: Kerncentrale Doel, Haven 1800, Scheldemolenstraat, B-9130 Doel, Belgium 3: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Ch. De Bériotstraat 32, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium,

Publication date: April 1, 2004


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