Wind Farm Could Be in Jeopardy [PHIL-OSOPHY]
In case you need reminding, the threat wind farms pose to the fishing industry is real and imminent.
Let me give you one example: the European energy companies with global wind farm interests will force the creation of a fishing "transit lane through turbine areas" that the fleet has to stay within. This is so impractical and constraining. It would force fisherman to work in a very busy shipping lane, and I am told that rescue helicopters wouldn’t venture into such a dangerous, cluttered area.
In New Bedford and elsewhere in Massachusetts, fishermen have grouped together to form RODA, Responsible Offshore Development Association, to protect their hundreds of years of vested interests. The same kind of organizing has taken place in neighboring Rhode Island. Fishing interests there are loudly making it public that offshore wind projects will damage their livelihoods. And this has thrown a wrench into creating a Vineyard Wind 94-turbine wind farm planned for fishing waters south of Martha’s Vineyard, placing it now in serious jeopardy.
As a result, on November 27, the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council has agreed to put the brakes on deciding to grant a “consistency certification” for Vineyard Wind until the end of January.
The related issue is the fishermen need a larger corridor, maybe a mile or wider, east to west. Last month, the Fisherman’s Advisory Board voted unanimously to withhold its support, fearing the wind turbines would close off fishing grounds that are considered the most productive. Many fishermen are also complaining that Deepwater Wind is ignoring the fishermen in Montauk. But Vineyard Wind insists they are committed to making the fishermen whole, as required.
Fishermen believe in time, with thousands upon thousands of wind generators planned for the North Atlantic region, there’s a possibility there will be no fish to catch. That will leave fishermen with the reality that all that will be left is to farm raise Tilapia, an idea that disgusts them, and me!
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.