Scientists from Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML) are conducting a survey in a bid to hear directly from those in the industry impacted, or worried about being impacted, by offshore wind developments.
Although the rush to develop offshore wind has slowed in 2023, in the face of cost increases that are far outstripping the prices developers can get for the electricity they produce, a large number of new developments are expected to be constructed by 2030, including the Celtic Array in the South West and projects stretching along the North Sea. Current generation capacity of offshore wind, of 10.4W, will reach 50GW by 2030, if all current plans are implemented.
Project lead scientist Dr Claire Szostek urged any fishing industry participants with an opinion to complete the short online survey, saying: “We would like to hear from any commercial fishers who have been impacted or think they will be impacted in the future by the development of offshore wind farms. Experiences could be positive or negative, but we hope that by gaining a better understanding of how offshore wind and the fishing industry interact or coexist, we can contribute to developing better, more effective and inclusive marine policies that maximise benefits for people, the economy and the environment.
“All responses will be aggregated, and no personal information will be published. Every response is valued, and we want to gain insight from as many views and experiences as possible.”
The UK Energy Research Centre, which is supporting the work, explains the project slightly differently, saying: “Decarbonising the UK energy supply through the increased implementation of offshore wind requires an understanding on the nexus of trade-offs between climate change and multiple uses of marine natural resources (energy extraction, fisheries and marine protected areas).”
That makes total sense. Someone needs to get out of their office chair and get some fresh air.
But you don’t need to swallow a dictionary to make your views known. You can find the survey, written in slightly more digestible language, here.