Offshore wind farms: the voice of the fishers must be heard!

1 Jul 2021

This week, ETF and Europêche adopted a joint resolution on the impact of offshore wind farms on fisheries.

The Commission has ambitious plans to increase the share of renewable energy produced by offshore wind farms in the next decades.

And while fishers are in principle, not opposed to the installation of offshore wind farms, their valid concerns on the impact such installations have on their work are often disregarded.

In most cases, offshore wind farms are installed in rich fishing areas and access to fishers is banned, forcing fishers to undertake longer fishing trips, to avoid areas attributed to offshore wind. This results in more fuel consumption, more trips, longer working hours, and more fatigue for the crew with the risks that go along with it.

Furthermore, the impact on the fish stocks and the ecosystems is far from being known. There is no scientific consensus on the effect of such installations on currents, salt levels, algae growth, etc. A precautionary approach needs to prevail; the same approach the Commission takes when deciding on fishing opportunities.