Offshore Developers Discuss Possible Impacts to Fishing Industry
Individuals representing the commercial and recreational fishing industries and offshore wind developers met at New Bedford City Hall Tuesday to discuss potential projects off the shores of Martha's Vineyard.
A new renewable energy bill working its way through the legislature could open the door for more offshore wind, and New Bedford Port Director Edward Anthes-Washburn said it's important to get all the players in one room.
"The whole idea is to make sure the fishing industry is engaged with the developments, in terms of offshore wind, as they're going through the process," Washburn said.
Other industries that could see an impact include recreational fishing and transportation/shipping through the island's port.
The working group has been meeting since the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan was passed in 2009 and is directed by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs' Office of Coastal Zone Management and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
Local seafood consultant James Kindall said it's helpful everyone stay on the same page.
"If there's going to be a taking or a using of something that you tend to feel might be personal to you, I think you got to reach out and talk to those people and try and come to some sort of good understanding of how it's going to work best," said Kendall.
The new bill is now before the House of Representatives and Governor Charlie Baker has said he hopes to sign the energy bill into law before the end of the legislative session, July 31.