A windfarm which recently received permission to be built could push French fishermen into Jersey waters and affect fish stocks, the president of Jersey’s Fishermen’s Association has claimed.
Don Thompson says that he believes exclusion zones will be implemented around the proposed 62-turbine facility and added that those in charge of the project were ignoring a long-standing treaty.
However, a spokesman for the Environment Department said that they did not believe the development, which is expected to be operational by 2020, would affect commercial fishing.
Mr Thompson said: ‘I think it is first important to clarify that the fishing industry is not opposed to windfarms or renewable energy but I do not see how there cannot be an exclusion zone. It is likely that fishermen will not be allowed to tow mobile gear [trawl] through the area.
‘With the turbines and cables laid across the sea floor it cannot happen, there will probably be a 50 metre exclusion around the circumference of each turbine.’
He added: ‘This will have repercussions for the displacement of fishermen. As the windfarm is in France we could potentially see more French fishermen in Jersey’s waters. I just do not think it has been properly considered.’
A spokesman for the Environment Department said that extensive consultation had been undertaken between fishermen and the project developers.
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