Offshore wind farms worry area fisherman (Matthew Prensky}

Human interest story of long-time commercial fishermen, one of whom reportedly told the reporter that he doesn’t plan stopping until he’s over the age 100 or can’t get on the boat anymore or “the windmills put me out of business.”

“Nationwide,” the story goes on, “fishermen are concerned that there just isn’t enough known about what offshore wind will do the ocean and, by extension, the commercial fishing industry. Examples: disturbance of fish by piling driving, interference with the systems that fish use to navigate to their breeding, feeding, etc. grounds. Source: Annie Hawkins, executive director of the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA).

Wind farm developers (e.g., Orsted) say there have already been lots of studies, and the real point of RODA et al. is that they don’t want the wind farm projects to proceed. Just look at all those federal permitting requirements!

Bottom line, however, the emerging consensus seems to be that everyone needs to understand the fishing industry’s concerns and address them with whatever research will satisfy the persons involved. Thus, UD professor Jeremy Firestone describes offshore wind as a “social issue that has technological components” rather than a “technical issue with social components.” Especially with the first few offshore wind projects, it would be smart for scientists to study the wind farms to gather “very good baselines” on their effects.
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