Can offshore wind and commercial fishing coexist?


We work closely with the fishing industry when planning, building and operating our wind farms, ensuring peaceful coexistence.

Question:

Do wind farms harm fish stocks, get in the way of fishing activities, or cause economic and environmental damage?
Fact:

Offshore wind already coexists successfully with maritime and fishing industries, with close collaboration throughout development, construction and operation.
 

Working closely with maritime industries


When the ocean is your source of income or the place you fish recreationally, the arrival of an offshore wind farm can cause understandable concern.

As an offshore wind developer, we understand the cultural and economic importance of fishing grounds. We work closely with commercial and recreational fishing communities throughout the process of developing, building and operating our offshore wind farms.

In addition to undertaking environmental assessments when deciding where to locate a new wind farm, we also address the questions, comments and concerns of local fishing communities. This input gathered by our fisheries liaisons helps inform how we proceed when developing a wind farm.

Safe navigation


It may not be obvious from a distance, but the wind turbines in an offshore wind farm are spaced widely in a grid pattern, with two distinct lines of orientation. The wind turbines are lit and marked in accordance with relevant local guidance , and their position is reflected accurately on nautical charts.


All this allows mariners to navigate and fish within the wind farms, except in discreet areas that are restricted during the construction phase of the project.

Protecting biodiversity


As for the fish and other sea creatures that live on our wind farms – and on which fisheries rely for their income – these, too, can coexist happily with offshore wind, thanks in no small part to the expertise of our own team of environmental specialists.

During construction, we actively minimise environmental impacts, for example through using bubble curtains, noise mitigation screens, hydro sound dampers and suction bucket jackets to reduce noise. And once built, turbine foundations act as artificial reefs where new diverse habitats can grow.

Throughout a wind farm’s life, we closely monitor and mitigate any possible impacts on the marine environment, especially on commercially important species and habitats. This has included ground-breaking research into crustacean stocks on one of our wind farms in the UK. This research showed no negative impact from offshore wind activities.