Fishermen Concerned Over New Wind Farm Projects

SouthCoastToday reports on a meeting in New Bedford in which Daniel Cohen, the head of an offshore wind farm company formed by the principals of several New Jersey fishing companies, spoke to commercial fishermen at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts. Cohen said his group, Fishermen’s Energy, was formed so that fishermen could have a stake in how and where wind turbines are sited.

This zoning map shows the huge federal area alloted for future wind farm projects. Source: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement

Fishermen in Massachusetts are primarily concerned over the size of the 3,000-square-mile area of federal waters south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket that was recently opened for wind-turbine leases. If the farms are created, they fear being kept out of those areas permanently.

According to the SouthCoastToday article, the individual turbines would be located a half-mile apart, with their bases surrounded by a 200-foot-diamter circle of large stones. In addition, a network of ground cables transmitting electricity would further hamper trawl-fishing operations, opponents maintain.

“This is another flank we’re being attacked on,” Rhode Island fisherman Dick Grachek was quoted as saying.

The Obama administration is encouraging the development of wind energy in federal waters off the Massachusetts coast by offering leases to interested parties. Proposals are due by February 28.

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South Coast Today

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