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The Impacts of Wind Farms on Fisheries

05 December 2012

NORWAY - For fisheries, the impacts of wind farms at sea range from very small to very large, depending on where the facility is located.

A report by the Directorate of Fisheries showed that seven of the 15 wind farm areas examined had serious consequences on fisheries.

"The negative consequences for fisheries are mainly related to land use of offshore wind power plants, the uncertainty as to whether it is possible to fish in the area, and effects that can affect the fish's behavior, spawning and migration," says senior fisheries adviser Monica Langeland.

A category scale from 1, which is "very low impact," to 5, which is "very serious consequences" was used.

In seven areas, offshore wind farms have very large consequences for fisheries: Træna west, Nordøyan (outer Vikna), Træna Fjord (Selvær), Freya reasons, Olderveggen, Sand Skull (South Island north) and Nordmela.

The assessment used catch data, tracking data, and coastal fisheries data. In addition, the fishing industry at the Norwegian Fishermen's Association, the Norwegian Coastal Fishermen, Fishing Vessel Owners Association and Pelagic Association also actively contributed with information about the study areas.

Vessels under 15 meters were seen to be negatively impacted by offshore wind farms as they are restricted to where they can fish and are less likely to find alternative sites.

Wind farms were also seen to affect the estimated landed value of fisheries.

The need for guidelines

"Security Zones and activity limitations will prevent fishing activities, but the extent of the limitations are at this time unclear. Policies to address these issues, where both builders and the fishing industry are active participants, should be created," said Ms Langeland.

TheFishSite News Desk

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