CAB - 24, 25, 26 Nov 2020 - Advice
Home Energy Scotland - Win £500 towards your energy bills

Marine / Areas of regular fishing should be kept clear of offshore turbines, association chief says

A LOCAL fishing leader has reiterated his view that offshore wind farms should “located in areas that are not regularly fished”.

Shetland Fishermen’s Association chief officer Simon Collins said the organisation is “not keen on any offshore wind farm that destroys sustainable jobs such as fishing”.

Shetland Fishermen's Association executive officer Simon Collins said the white paper's "headline points are precisely what we have insisted on from day one".Shetland Fishermen’s Association executive officer Simon Collins. Photo: Shetland News

His comments came after a possible site located to the east of Shetland was included in a new Scottish Government plan for future offshore wind development.

Collins said much of the area identified to the east of Shetland – which amounts to 751 square kilometres – is fished regularly, but not all of it.

“Another problem that the authorities have already identified with the site in question is that it contains known spawning areas for fish species such as cod,” he added.

“Given that we are all trying to safeguard healthy fish stocks in our waters, this may render the area unsuitable for development in any case.”

The plan said that these risks would “need to be addressed by project-level mitigation measures”.

It also noted that for the area off Shetland there is “some potential for significant cost impacts associated with the loss of fishing grounds”.

In their response to a consultation on the draft marine plan earlier this year the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and the Scottish White Fish Producers’ Association had suggested altering the coordinates of most of the proposed areas, including to the east of Shetland, to allow fishing and offshore wind farms to “co-exist”.

Collins said association is “actively monitoring the situation and have raised our concerns directly with the Scottish fisheries minister”.

“At the same time, we understand national priorities regarding renewable energy and will always talk to developers about where offshore projects are best sited to avoid undermining our seafood sector,” he said.