How To Avoid The Single Biggest Public Relations Nightmare For Offshore Wind
Aggravated, Exasperated, Peeved and Verklempt are four adjectives that replace the cuss words I uttered when I read this article about a negative interaction between Fisherman and an Offshore Wind Survey Vessel in the Dispatch News.
How much damage was done to the Offshore Wind Industry with an encounter like the one highlighted below?
“Watermen, Elected Officials Meet Over Offshore Conflict; Commercial Fisherman’s Conch Pots Destroyed By Wind Farm Survey Boat https://mdcoastdispatch.com/2021/11/11/waterman-elected-officials-meet-over-offshore-conflict-commercial-fishermans-conch-pots-destroyed-by-wind-farm-survey-boat/
This is crazy – according to a new report released by Green Technica Offshore Wind is going to invest about $109 BILLION DOLLARS by 2030 and the additional expense of placing fishermen on vessels and adding Scout Boats to the Offshore Wind Farm Fields amounts to nothing more than a rounding error in accounting!
Every single time there is a negative interaction or dust up between fishermen and Offshore Wind Vessel, my phone explodes and email gets overloaded!
Why my phone? Because I come from a fishing family, support Offshore Wind, have fishermen on a few vessels and have written numerous times about this very subject over the past three years.
Below are two of the most recent posts:
- Performing Offshore Wind Survey Work Without Having At Least ONE Certified Fisheries Liaison Onboard Makes About As Much Sense as Performing your Own Dentistry. https://offshorewfs.com/would-you-perform-your-own-dentistry/
- The Difference Between Law, Business, Doing The Right Thing and the Law of “Public Perception.” https://offshorewfs.com/the-difference-between-law-business-doing-the-right-thing-and-the-law-of-public-perception/
This is Negligent and Unfair!
For Proper Offshore Wind Development,
Fishermen Deserve Representation!
I know the Fisheries Liaisons mentioned in the article. They are on top of their game in the area. Very knowledgeable, well informed, well connected within the fishing community, etc. However, they, like all the other Liaisons have their hands tied by the lack of BOEM mandates for fishermen, lopsided environmental requirements and of course, the bean counters.
Over the past three (3) years, I have been advocating for the placement of FLO’s (Fisheries Liaison Officers) to be on all Offshore Wind Vessels for the safety of vessels as well as give the fishermen the respect they deserve. Unfortunately, it seems to be falling on deaf ears.
- We have contacted BOEM Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) requesting a mandate that required a fisheries representative on every offshore wind vessel that is required to carry a Protected Species Observer (PSO)
- I’ve sent emails to administrators at RODA (Responsible Offshore Development Association) asking for their support.
- Letters and emails have been sent to TWENTY ONE (21) Congresspeople from MA to VA with districts that will benefit from the Offshore Wind practically pleading for them to look into BOEM and the lack of protection for fishermen in their districts.
- I wrote a letter to Bonnie Brady, the Executive Director of Long Island Commercial Fishing Association requesting her support.
To Date … CRICKETS …
Not A Call. Not An Email. Not A Text Message.
To be honest, I really didn’t expect to hear back from BOEM or the Congresspeople, but when it comes to RODA and Brady, their silence has left me stunned because I thought that even though they are against Offshore Wind, at the very least, one would think they would want to support the fishermen.
Their Silence Makes Me Wonder
What Exactly is Their End Goal?
Is There a Dark Money Motivation or
Perhaps Plans For a Selfishly Big Payout?
Am I the only one honestly looking out for the fishermen?
Am I the only one pleading for fishermen to get the same respect as the Whales and Turtles? – IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?
Will Someone PLEASE Give The Fishermen The Respect They Deserve?
Now for my suggestion:
“How To Easily Avoid The Biggest Public Relations Nightmare For Offshore Wind” ….
Currently there are NO Mandates for offshore wind vessels to carry FLO’s. This is a travesty because all offshore wind vessels are required to carry between 1 to 8 PSO’s onboard all vessels at all times. (It’s absurd. PSO’s only work 4-6 hours a day.)
There Needs to Be a FLO (Fisheries Liaison Officer) Onboard All Offshore Wind Vessels Before, During and After Construction. Simply put, if a PSO (Protected Species Observer) must be on a boat to observe and respect marine mammals, then a FLO must be on the same boat to observe and respect the fishermen working on the water!
I have been doing everything possible to persuade developers to place FLO’s onboard ALL Offshore Wind vessels and it feels like I’ve been beating my head against the wall. Fisheries Liaisons who work ashore for the developers unanimously support having fishermen onboard all vessels. They Want Fishermen Onboard All Offshore Wind Boats Too!
Offshore Wind is going to invest about $109 BILLION DOLLARS by 2030. The additional expense of placing fishermen on vessels and adding Scout Boats to the Offshore Wind Fields amounts to nothing more than a rounding error in accounting.
Will Someone PLEASE Help Me Help The Fishermen ???