The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) on Tuesday announced the recreational fishing industry’s position regarding offshore wind energy (OWE) expansion along the Atlantic coast.
ASA wants to make sure the industry’s voice is heard when OWE polices and developments are under consideration. The position statement represents a commitment by ASA to engage on OWE projects in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions as well as others as development continues. This statement outlines four major areas of consideration such as access, mitigation, management and economic impacts to fisheries.
“With increased attention on renewable energy, there has been a rapid expansion in proposed OWE projects,” said ASA’s Atlantic Fisheries Policy Director Mike Waine. “With thousands of square miles of ocean ready for development, we must make sure that potential impacts on recreational fishing are accounted for to keep fishing opportunities open to American anglers. Our position statement outlines major topics important to the sportfishing industry such as access, science-based management and impacts to local fishing economies.”
As the nation’s sportfishing trade association, ASA understands the importance of reliable and affordable energy solutions and the need for fisheries to coexist with OWE development goals.
Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island’s coast is currently the only OWE project in operation on the U.S. East coast. Planning for future production is rapidly increasing with 15 leases currently issued by the Bureau for Ocean Energy Management which is the federal agency responsible for overseeing these projects. The current leases range from Massachusetts to North Carolina, and the permitting process involves both federal and state review.
“ASA is committed to working with the developers as well as federal and state agencies to provide our input throughout the process,” said Waine.