One of Grimsby’s last remaining, active fishermen had his equipment hauled out the sea by a wind farm contractor who went on to destroy it.
Darren Kenyon, of Fastline Shellfish, lost 13 lobster pots and a distinctive anchor by a contractor working for the new Triton Knoll wind farm. The total worth of the equipment is around £5,000.
Mr Kenyon, 54, who has been left angry about the loss, says he has since reported the matter to the police.
But Triton Knoll say they needed to remove the equipment to ensure safety for those working on the site and they had made attempts to locate the owner before destroying them.
Mr Kenyon told Grimsby Live: “Triton Knoll took 13 pots and some other equipment and hauled them out the sea.
“We have to pay for a special licence to haul this equipment out there – have they got a licence?”
Triton Knoll is an under-construction wind farm, around 21 miles east of the coastline between Mablethorpe and Saltfleet. Once complete, it will have 90 offshore turbines.
The first of the enormous turbines was installed at the end of January, measuring 187 metres from the base of the tower to the tip of the blades.
Mr Kenyon said bad weather had prevented him from reaching the pots in time before Triton Knoll moved them for safety reasons.
After discovering the items were gone, he contacted Triton Knoll parent company, RWE.
It was at this point that Mr Kenyon said he was offered compensation, which he refused.
He was then told the equipment had been destroyed.
Mr Kenyon said: “We have enough problems as it is without this. There are a lot of struggles with the fishing industry being the way it is.
“I’m doing this for the younger fisherman that are entering a very difficult environment really, they’re the ones that I worry about.
“A lot of people like to think it is all friendly out there with everyone working together but in reality it can be a bit of a battlefield with the big firms.”
A spokesperson for Triton Knoll said: “We have developed a productive and positive relationship with fishermen throughout the construction of Triton Knoll offshore wind farm and will maintain effective dialogue while different elements of construction continue.
“In October 2020, Triton Knoll contractors were required to move gear that was impeding the safety of construction vessels working within the export cable corridor.
“No marks of identification were found on the gear; however, we did inform a local fisherman that we had removed the gear and asked him if he was the owner.
“We subsequently invited the fisherman to make a claim for compensation for the lost gear but did not receive any response.
“After not receiving a response from the fisherman we instructed our contractor to follow appropriate waste disposal processes for the gear.
“We have previously repeated our offer of compensation for lost gear to the fisherman in question and that offer remains open.”
Lincolnshire Police has been approached for a comment.