The Answer To This Question of Course, Is Yes – They Have To Because There Is No Way Around It.
I’m not talking about coming together and singing coumbia songs around a campfire, but both parties need to come together and create a dialogue between both user groups.
In order for this to happen though, both parties need to come together and create a specific protocol for communications and sharing best practices and solutions.
Because if they don’t, I predict it will get very ugly and both sides will lose in a big way.
The context is important because Offshore Wind is here. Big money is behind it and big money controls the Government. If both sides can’t work it out, Uncle Sam will step in and we all know how that will work out.
There is an age old saying …. “Don’t Shoot The Messenger” and I’m willing to bet that saying came about because some messengers were shot back in the day because they delivered messages people didn’t want to hear.
Like it or not, Offshore Wind and renewable energy are here to stay. They are looked at as an essential to the decarbonization of the energy mix.
I encourage you to take a step back and look at what the Oil companies have been doing over the past 25 year- they have been slowly re-branding themselves away from Oil Companies and into “Energy” Companies.
The shift didn’t happen overnight – it has been in the process for quite a long time and regardless of how you feel about renewable energy, it’s here, it’s growing, it’s going to stay.
They will bring a multitude of opportunities for those who are willing to accept the reality of the situation and look outside of the box.
For the Recreational Fishing industry there will be more structure to fish and sightseeing opportunities for passengers to enjoy.
There will also be additional income opportunities during off season times and when fishing is restricted due to season closures. This includes jobs in security and safety patrols, bird and mammal watching and environmental monitoring.
For the Commercial Fishing industry, there are already working examples overseas of both industries working together and side by side. (pictures of offshore wind and fishing below)
Fishing within wind farms is allowed and there are compensation packages for fishermen who have been disrupted during wind farm construction.
Imagine that – getting paid to sit at the dock and have funds to work on and improve the boats at the same time.
It doesn’t stop there either – Offshore wind farms also offer opportunities for alternative employment when fishing is restricted, during season closures, or when fishing quotas have been reached.
This includes running supplies, providing bollard pull when needed, jobs in guarding and safety roles during construction, performing fishing surveys and environmental monitoring.
Like it or not, the 200 mile EEZ is owned by the People if the USA and no one user group has the exclusive rights to it.
Both industries must find common ground and work together. Both sides need to come together and figure out how they can help each other and co-exist in the same ocean.
Early dialogue, communication and clear safety rules could allow the two sectors to share the space at sea.
Long-term options for multiple potential uses should be tackled at an early stage in the planning process and discussed systematically with the fishing sector.
All stakeholders need to be respectful of the others interests and share best practices to make the energy transition a success.
“At Offshore Wind Farm Support, we’ll continue to monitor for opportunities to assist OffShore Wind Farming with public relations, community outreach and education, digital marketing, and more…if you’d like to know more contact us at 601-SEA-WIND