Home Business News Offshore wind projects raise concerns for fishermen

Offshore wind projects raise concerns for fishermen

by LLB staff reporter
17th Jan 22 2:50 pm

A fishing industry group want “meaningful engagement” after Crown Estate Scotland announced the results of the ScotWind leasing process.

This will see more than 7,000 square kilometres (2,700 square miles) of seabed being covered amid the 17 new wind projects along Scotland’s coastline.

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) has raised concerns over the projects and what this would mean for their industry.

“In the rush to energy transition, it is vital that our industry’s voice is properly heard and that the fleet’s access to Scotland’s productive fishing grounds is protected,” said SFF chief executive, Elspeth Macdonald.

“In particular, proper scrutiny must be given to developers’ claims that offshore windfarms and fishing activity can co-exist with little change to existing patterns of activity, since our experience to date shows very strongly that the opposite is the case.

“Fish are not uniformly distributed in our seas – the fleet cannot simply move somewhere else. We need genuine and meaningful engagement, mutual respect and an even-handed approach to planning, consenting and licensing.

“Marine renewables are clearly part of Scotland’s transition to net zero, but so is fishing. For this to be a just transition, there must be space for both to succeed.”

The Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) general secretary, Roz Foyer, said, “Over the past six months, the public relations teams of the prospective bidders have been in overdrive, promising the long overdue, renewables jobs revolution.

“Now we need to make that happen.

“The First Minister says that we have every reason to be optimistic about the number of jobs that can be created, but our skilled workers in oil and gas need more than words, given the experience over the past decade tells us that jobs in offshore wind are consistently offshored overseas.

“With over 1,000 massive turbines to become operational over the next decade, it would be nothing short of economic vandalism if we fail to build a thriving supply chain in Scotland.”

“Today’s announcement marks the start of a new era for the UK’s world-leading offshore wind industry. ScotWind represents one of the country’s biggest ever steps towards net zero,” said RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive, Melanie Onn.

“To put this landmark into context, the 25 gigawatts of new capacity announced today is two and a half times the UK’s entire current offshore wind capacity. It’s also equal to the entire current operational offshore wind capacity for the whole of Europe.”

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