Performing Offshore Wind Survey Work Without Having At Least ONE Certified Fisheries Liaison Onboard The Vessel Makes As Much Sense As Performing Your Own Dentistry.
A couple weeks ago, I published a blog titled: The Difference Between Law, Business, Doing the Right Thing and The Law of Public Perception.
The article was read by a few thousand readers and my phone rang off the hook with people involved in Offshore Wind wanting to discuss Public Perception and how to give context to the industry as it grows.
The overwhelming response was “you hit the nail on the head.”
I was thrilled because I had hopes of getting all of the Offshore Wind Developers to begin thinking along the lines of acting like an Industry, instead of independents.
It has always been my goal to help get experienced fishermen onboard survey vessels so they can use their skills, contacts and knowledge to help move the Offshore Wind Industry forward.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve been working my tail off getting local fishermen involved in Offshore Wind so they could get back on the water and I felt a real sense of accomplishment.
Then This Happened:
- Not a week after the blog post, I get a call from an old employee looking for work because the developer he was working for canceled his Scout Boat Contract. Apparently a scout boat is too costly and they think they can do it themselves. The reason they started using scout boats in the first place was because they had big problems with fishing gear interaction and the fog season is right around the corner. (Imagine for a minute what it would be like drilling out your own cavity)
- Two days after that, I get a distressed call from an old friend screaming at me claiming one of their buddies got tangled up with a Survey Vessel with no Fisheries Liaisons onboard (actually accusing me, although I had nothing to do with it.)
The idea is, the drill ships don’t move much so a Certified Fisheries Liaison Officer (CFLO) isn’t needed. They figured they could handle it themselves, and now word is spreading around the docks like wildfire. Not a good situation for the industry at all. (Imagine pulling your own wisdom tooth.)
They say things happen in threes, so here’s the third one …
I had one of my top guys scheduled to set sail as a CFLO and POOF – out of nowhere, my guy was cancelled. (I hope this one doesn’t turn into a denture fitting!)
To say I was upset is an understatement. I’m working hard supporting Offshore Wind and trying to put fishermen to work because I recognize the importance of Public Perception and the damage one unsavory interaction can do to the entire industry.
Performing Offshore Wind Survey Work Without Having A Certified Fisheries Liaison Onboard The Vessel Makes About As Much Sense As Performing Your Own Dentistry.
Ever Heard The Saying “Opening Pandora’s Box?”
How about stuffing a hornets nest into Pandoras box, taking it out in the middle of a huge paved parking in the middle of the day and begin whacking it around with a golf club – it’s not a case of if the box opens, it’s a case of when, how mad the hornets are going to be and how much pain you can endure while running a couple hundred yards in an open field for cover. You best have an epi-pen handy!
I’m not quite sure which one is worse – but I’m quite sure of one thing ….. either result will be very painful and one might be deadly.
Will someone please explain to me WHY?
WHY whack a Pandoras box full of Hornets?
WHY try and perform your own dentistry?
What is the opportunity cost to the US Offshore Wind Industry if building permit issuances are delayed 6 months because of negative Public Perception?
I support Offshore Wind and the jobs that will come during and after construction. I also recognize the IMPORTANCE of gaining public support so permits can be issued sooner than later. Just ONE public meeting can push back the whole process 6 months or more..
I’m am doing the best I possibly can to provide a pathway for fishermen to get involved and HELP the industry. The inconsistencies in this industry must be dealt with to give the clearest path forward. From developers to stakeholders we will all benefit working with Best Practices!
PLEASE – Developers: Consider what the focus of Fisheries Liaisons, positioned on all of the survey vessels, accomplishes! Every survey vessel out there has more PSO’s onboard than really necessary. It would be very simple to eliminate one PSO and add a CFLO. This is a Best Practice approach, and the continued growth with on time permitting and negative interactions demands it.
(your teeth deserve it, too!)