He’s something of a nautical Don Quixote, for Dutch fisherman Cees ‘t Mannetje is battling the 150 ‘windmills’ which the government plans to build some 21 kilometres out to sea off the coast of his hometown, Scheveningen. Although these wind turbines won’t occupy a large area, they will be built in the richest fishing fields in this part of the North Sea. Fishing boats will then be banned from the immediate vicinity.
‘If the wind turbines are put there, we’ll have to fish on a ‘zebra crossing’. A strip here, a strip there, then another strip somewhere else.”
Clearly Mr ‘t Mannetje, who has been going to sea for more than 35 years, feels threatened by the government’s plans to build wind turbines in the North Sea.
He and other fishermen have now resorted to legal action, because they think the authorities should look for different locations to put the turbines. As they see it, the North Sea is their home base. Wind turbines amidst the waves is a prospect that cuts them to the core.
The first in a series of 12 separate court proceedings was heard late in September 2010. The court’s ruling in that first case is expected on 11 November.
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