Any assessment of navigation must take into account the movements of both commercial and recreational vessels. Tidal lagoons have to consider the shipping lanes, ports and locations of any areas used for recreation within the assessment to ensure that all potential impacts have been considered.
The construction, operation and decommissioning of a tidal lagoon can potentially affect navigation via increased transit times due to:
- the physical presence of the structure
- increased collision risk due to reduced maneuvering space (physical presence of the structure) resulting from increased current speeds
- indirect effects such as changes to the tides and sediment deposition impacting port access and navigation channels.
There is a plethora of existing data which can be used to gain a better understanding of the existing environment in terms of navigation and, in order to support this, additional Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radar surveys can be undertaken within a project’s study area. These surveys collect data on the vessel traffic within the given area and inform assessment of the likely impacts of any development.