Marine Current Turbines Ltd has been granted permission by the Environment and Heritage Service, Northern Ireland through provision of a Food and Environmental Protection (FEPA) Licence, to install an experimental marine current turbine in the Narrows of Strangford Lough.Strangford Lough supports a variety of marine habitats and communities, with over 2,000 recorded species and is important for wintering and breeding wetland birds, as well as for marine mammals, including seals, porpoises and dolphins. This variety and richness of habitats and species has led to the Lough being afforded the highest level of environmental protection namely, an international Ramsar Site, European Special Area of Conservation (candidate) and Special Protection Area. The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS), is the Government regulator for the Department of Environment, Northern Ireland (DOENI). Permission to install the turbine was granted by EHS on the condition that a rigorous and robust environmental monitoring project was implemented to ensure that any changes caused by the development, which might affect the integrity of the site, would be identified before significant impact occurs. The visual observation baseline report in this series presents the results of 13 months of species observation surveys. QUB have undertaken monthly surveys since May 2005 of marine mammals and important bird species, all of which have the potential to be affected by the installation and operation of the turbine. The result is a 13 month data set to June 2005 which forms an effective baseline from which all future observation data can be compared. Changes in the animal sightings and behaviour that occur during the 5 years of observations will now be detected through detailed statistical analysis of the data undertaken by biometricians at SMRU. It is anticipated that this will support any changes highlighted by visual interpretation of the future data sets. If actual significant changes are detected, detailed investigation will allow the Science Group (as advisors) and EHS (as regulators), to make judge whether the change detected is the direct result of the installation or operation of the turbine, before the integrity of the site is significantly impacted. Appropriate management action can then be undertaken.