Montauk Fishermen Worried about Offshore Wind Farms’ Impact
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a meeting with Montauk fishermen yesterday to discuss the offshore wind energy leasing process and best management practices.
BOEM is examining the impact of the proposed Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farms on fishery. The offshore wind developer plans to set up four offshore wind farms at the leased areas: one off Block Island, one off Long Island, one off New Jersey and one in the waters 30 miles east of Montauk.
Although the leases for these projects have been assigned, the construction cannot commence before all necessary data is gathered and studies have been carried out.
At the meeting, Montauk fishermen expressed their concerns over the negative effect the proposed wind turbines will have on fish by killing them or making them change their spawning area. Thus, fishermen would face some serious troubles with earning their income.
“These are not passive machines put in by unicorns and fairies. They’re blasted in 70 meters, and the scouring behind the windmills is creating killing zones,” East End Beacon news site quotes Long Island Commercial Fishing Association Executive Director Bonnie Brady as saying.
BOEM’s offshore renewable energy regulatory program has not yet reached the stage where it could easily determine which issues should be taken into account when deciding whether to proceed with these offshore wind projects, Renewable Energy Program Manager Maureen Bornholdt told those attending the meeting.
Offshore WIND Staff, April 9, 2014; Image: dwwind