A new agreement has been announced between a group representing commercial fishermen and the world's leading developer of offshore wind farms.

The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance and Orstead U.S. Offshore Wind are looking for ways to improve communcation with each other.

Alliance Director Annie Hawkins says the agreement provides a structure to help fishermen give direct input to Orsted.

"Having a structured partnership will create a much better opportunity for fishermen to be involved," said Hawkins. "It's a good faith agreement; it provides a forum for the concerns of fishermen to be heard."

The agreement calls for the creation of a joint industry task force to explore issues like the siting and design of offshore wind facilities.

Hawkins says when it comes to the North Atlantic fisheries, Orsted is still learning. "They are certainly a developer with a lot of experience in offshore wind, but probably a little less experience in dealing with Federal fisheries in the U.S."

Hawkins added "things are very different here than they are in Europe, so we are looking forward to the opportunity to supply more information to Orsted."

Orsted operates the Block Island Wind Farm, the nation's first offshore wind farm.

The Alliance Board of Directors contains fishing industry representatives that bring more than 200 years of operational and management experience in the Atlantic fisheries.

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