From: Mathilde VOISIN <Mathilde.VOISIN@ebcd.org>
Sent: Friday 24 January 2020 15:20
To: Mathilde VOISIN <Mathilde.VOISIN@ebcd.org>
Cc: Mathilde VOISIN <Mathilde.VOISIN@ebcd.org>
Subject: EVENT REPORT: Can fisheries and offshore wind co-exist ?
I attended this week the event “Can fisheries and offshore wind co-exist?” that took place in the European Parliament, hosted by MEP Peter van Dalen (NL; EPP group), vice-president of the Fisheries Committee and co-organised by Europêche, VisNed, EMK and Collectif Pêcheurs Artisans. Note that Peter van Dalen is going to be the rapporteur on the own initiative procedure of the European Parliament “The impact on the fishing sector of offshore windfarms and other renewable energy systems”.
- The event brought together different stakeholders, including scientists, wind industry representatives, NGOs, legislators, and small-scale fishers from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal.
- Wind energy will become more important in the years to come as the Green Deal foresees a Climate Neutral Europe by 2050. Offshore wind will be essential to the decarbonisation of Europe’s energy mix. Today Europe has 20 GW of offshore wind. But the European Commission estimates a need of 400-450 GW of offshore wind if Europe is to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The EU will thus invest a lot in marine energy (wind, tidal, waves)– but this growth of offshore wind will only be possible through collaboration at sea. That’s why the EU needs to manage its maritime space and Member States will have to propose their Maritime Spatial Plans by 2021, according to the directive for maritime and coastal spatial planning.
- On the other hand, the investments made in recent decades to make fishing operations socially, economically and ecologically sustainable is a success story. EU fishers alert that this investment and the long term efforts of the fisheries involved are now under a direct threat, and in some cases already damaged by the uncontrolled development of offshore wind capacity. Namely, sustainable fishing activities require space as does the development and operation of offshore wind farms. The installation of offshore wind farms can disturb the ecosystem and can have some negative effects on the marine life.
- During the event, scientists explained that a lot of research is still necessary to have a complete picture of the ecosystem impacts of offshore wind. According to them there are still a lot of uncertainties concerning the impacts of offshore wind parcs on the ecosystems. These uncertainties need to be reduced and research need to be carried on. They presented some technologies, namely the “bubble curtain” system that can help dampen offshore energy sound. Nonetheless, all the wind farms are not equipped with this system and the effectivity is reduced if streams are important.
- During the event, EU fishers call on the European Parliament to support their call for a freeze on the development of offshore wind farm capacity, and prevent its extension into new areas, particularly in sustainably managed fishing grounds, regarding the consequences it had in some area and the lack of research behind it.
You can find the press release of Europeche attached to this e-mail.
Have a good weekend,
Click HERE to open the Press Release