[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Get weekly updates

when your community is targeted


RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Paypal

Donate via Stripe

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Commercial fishers talk offshore wind concerns 

Credit:  By Malea Martin | New Times | April 21, 2022 | www.newtimesslo.com ~~

Offshore wind energy is one step closer to becoming a reality on the Central Coast, and with it, hundreds of potential jobs and renewable energy generation that will be much needed when the Diablo Canyon Power Plant closes. But the local commercial fishing industry continues to raise concerns over how such an undertaking will impact their livelihoods.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) released its draft environmental assessment for leasing the Morro Bay Wind Energy Area earlier this month, and heard public comment on the report at an April 14 meeting. Further environmental assessment will be required before a wind farm project is actually approved and built—this draft just looks at the impacts of the leasing process.

“We expect to publish a proposed sale notice this spring,” Acting Renewable Energy Section Chief Jennifer Miller said at the meeting. “However, steel in the water is still a number of years away and engineering challenges do await us.”

The environmental assessment details the potential impacts of the offshore wind leasing process on marine and coastal habitats, commercial fishing, tourism, and other areas.

“Data collection buoys and vessel traffic associated with [offshore wind leasing] may generate space-use conflicts and interfere with fishing operations by creating areas no longer accessible as fishing grounds, reducing fishing efficiency, and/or causing economic losses associated with gear entanglement,” BOEM’s environmental assessment states.

The report concludes that potential impacts to commercial fishing from the leasing process are expected to be “minor and temporary in duration (five years or less)” and will impact an area that is “comparatively small in size when compared to the full extent of available fishing grounds.”

But some local commercial fishers are concerned about what happens after those five years of “minor and temporary” impacts. Per BOEM’s process, only after a lease is issued will a site assessment be conducted to “determine the suitability of the leases for commercial offshore wind production and transmission,” Miller said.

“You say that we’re not there yet, we don’t know enough about the project to be able to do these other more full-scale assessments,” Steve Scheiblauer with the Alliance of Communities for Sustainable Fisheries said during public comment. “But respectfully, I think that’s at best a half-truth. … We know enough to readily foresee a lot of impacts, and probably especially for the commercial fishing industry.”

Lisa Gilbane, a BOEM biologist, acknowledged the impacts the leasing process will have on fisheries. But BOEM officials maintained that it’s too early in the process to conduct further assessment.

“The space use conflicts are relatively low,” Gilbane said. “However, talking about commercial fishing in one breath is too high level. We do acknowledge that different fisheries, specifically the ones that focus more in the 900 to 1,300 meter water, will have interactions and impacts from our activities, even at a leasing stage.”

While the bulk of public commenters at the meeting were concerned about commercial fishing industry impacts, others commended BOEM for embarking on the long and bureaucratically arduous process of bringing offshore wind to the Central Coast.

“I think it’s going to do a lot of benefit to mitigate climate change and contribute to the renewable energy sector in California,” said public commenter Kenneth Gluck. “… Obviously there’s mitigating that needs to be addressed, specifically fishing, marine mammals, sea bottom habitat, things of that nature. But we do have a good opportunity in Morro Bay to go forward with this project.”

Source:  By Malea Martin | New Times | April 21, 2022 | www.newtimesslo.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
   Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)
Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)


e-mail X FB LI M TG TS G Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook Wind Watch on Linked In

Wind Watch on Mastodon Wind Watch on Truth Social

Wind Watch on Gab Wind Watch on Bluesky