US FISHING AND OFFSHORE WIND GROUPS TO COLLABORATE
US fishing and offshore wind groups to collaborate. NOAA Fisheries of the USA, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) have signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding that brings local and regional fishing interests together with federal regulators to collaborate on the science and process of offshore wind energy development on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.
Safe, reliable, and affordable domestic energy production powers the U.S. economy, promotes jobs and is critical to the nation’s security. Offshore wind is an abundant, domestic energy resource that is located close to major coastal load centers, providing an alternative to long-distance transmission or development of electricity generation in these land-constrained regions.
Fishing has occurred in New England and Mid-Atlantic waters for hundreds of years and is an integral part of the region’s culture and economy. Regional fisheries not only provide a healthy and sustainable source of food for both domestic and international markets, but also recreational opportunities for thousands of anglers, divers, and nature enthusiasts. Fisheries also support numerous shoreside processing jobs and support industries important to the economies of many coastal communities.
“Any development on the Outer Continental Shelf must consider how these activities can affect current ocean users and the marine environment,” said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “That is why working with federal, state, and local agencies, fishing communities, and the public is such an essential part of our renewable energy program. We look forward to working with NOAA and RODA through early and constant communication to ensure that the most recent information is available to decision makers.”
“With wind energy developing in the New England/Mid-Atlantic region, this collaboration comes at a crucial time,” said Chris Oliver, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, the primary federal agency charged with sustaining U.S. marine resources and habitats. “This Memorandum of Understanding will help achieve NOAA Fisheries’ strategic national goal of maximizing fishing opportunities while supporting responsible resource development.”