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Tagged Species Detection: Approach to Monitoring Marine Species at Marine Hydrokinetic Projects
Verdant Power, LLC (Verdant) is licensed to operate an array of up to 30 kinetic hydropower turbines in East River, NY. During the licensing process, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the federal regulatory agency responsible for protecting Endangered Species Act (ESA)‐listed Atlantic and shortnose sturgeons, expressed concern regarding the potential interaction of these species with the turbines. To advance understanding of potential interactions, Verdant, partnering with the marine fishery community through the Atlantic Cooperative Telemetry (ACT) Network, installed 3 VEMCO fixed detection devices near the Project to collect presence and distribution data on sturgeon tagged by the ACT researchers. During the 25 months that the receivers have been deployed, 22 tagged fish ranging in size from <50 cm to >150 cm have been detected including 15 Atlantic sturgeon. These data have provided valuable spatial and temporal distribution information and represent the first documented proof that sturgeon migrate through the East River.