Review of the Impacts to Marine Fauna from Electromagnetic Frequencies (EMF) Generated by Energy Transmitted through Undersea Electric Transmission Cables



Date Removed

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Trenton, N.J. : Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science and Research


As part of New Jersey’s overall renewable energy goals, Governor Murphy announced on November 19th, 2019 the State’s plan to produce 7,500 MW of electricity from offshore wind (OSW) turbines by 2035 (Executive Order No. 92). As a result, high-efficiency transmission cables will be required to connect each turbine in series, whereas each OSW farm would afterwards be connected to a larger common conduit, or export cable travelling to a mainland connection point and electrical substation. The installation and operation of submarine transmission cables can affect marine benthic organisms and habitats in a variety of ways, some of which can include sediment disturbance, reef effects, thermal emission, and notably the distortion of the natural geomagnetic field via emission of electromagnetic frequencies. Electromagnetic Frequencies, or EMFs are generated by electric current flowing through undersea transmission cables that can be associated with onshore or offshore renewable energy projects (wind or hydrokinetic resources) or other power-generating sources (traditional power plants). Based on empirical evidence and laboratory investigations, the observed impacts to marine biota and ecosystems are considered to be minor or short-term. Electrosensitive species such as elasmobranchs and benthic species have been shown to sense EMFs more acutely than marine mammals and pelagic fishes, although only minor responses such as lingering near or attraction to cabled areas have been noted. However, uncertainties do remain as to whether physiological impacts occur and what life stage is most affected, and or if any long-term impacts will develop. Herein, a review of the current scientific literature is provided summarizing the observed, in situ effects of EMF on marine fauna from interactions with and proximity to undersea transmission cables.



New Jersey, Marine fauna, Electromagnetic fields



The organization that has made the Item available reasonably believes that the Item is not restricted by copyright or related rights, but a conclusive determination could not be made. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use.