Effects of EMF Emissions from Undersea Electric Cables on Coral Reef Fish
Electromagnetic field, Marine hydrokinetic device, Undersea cables, Coral reef fish, Electrosensitivity
The objective of this study was to determine if electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions from undersea power cables impacted local marine life, with an emphasis on coral reef fish. The work was done at the South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility of Naval Surface Warfare Center in Broward County, Florida, which has a range of active undersea detection and data transmission cables. EMF emissions from a selected cable were created during non-destructive visual fish surveys on SCUBA. During surveys, the transmission of either alternating current (AC), direct current (DC), or none (OFF) was randomly initiated by the facility at a specified time. Visual surveys were conducted using standardized transect and point-count methods to acquire reef fish abundances and species richness prior to and immediately after a change in transmission frequency. The divers were also tasked to note the reaction of the reef fish to the immediate change in EMF during a power transition. In general, analysis of the data did not find statistical differences among power states and any variables. However, this may be a Type II error as there are strong indications of a potential difference of a higher abundance of reef fish at the sites when the power was off, and further study is warranted.
Audie Kirk Kilfoyle, Robert F. Jermain, Manhar R. Dhanak, Joseph P. Huston, and Richard E. Spieler. 2017. Effects of EMF Emissions from Undersea Electric Cables on Coral Reef Fish .BioElectroMagnetics : 1 -18. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/905.