US company Deepwater Wind announced a new procedure to prevent impacts to commercial fishing gear from offshore wind energy activities. The procedure was developed in cooperation with the commercial fishing industry and is based on informing fishermen in ports in the Atlantic coast.
As many times damages to fishing gear are reported, the company will provide frequent updates on offshore activities to fishermen, via Deepwater Wind fisheries liaisons and a team of fisheries representatives based in regional ports, as well as through online updates for mariners and twice-daily updates on VHF channels.
To achieve this, its personnel will receive training to this procedure. However, in case damages still take place, the company has included a process for gear-loss/damage claims should they occur.
Beth Casoni, executive director of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association (MLA), stated:
The Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association is grateful for the dedication of Deepwater Wind toward the commercial fishing industry by creating an avenue online to easily report gear conflicts. We are hopeful these won’t be needed and with the multiple notices to mariners and ads in the MLA newspaper, our members are actively engaged in the development of offshore wind in Southern New England.