Co-existence of the commercial fishing and offshore wind power industries
Both industries can and have to co-exist in the UK of today. Fishers want to harvest seafood sustainably from the UK’s rich waters, while the wind farms generate power from the UK’s sustainable and productive wind resources.
Wind farms are often located in waters shared with a cautious and watchful fishing industry. When a wind farm is under construction, fishing opportunities in the immediate area are severely restricted, for reasons of safety, but once the wind farm is operational, fishing within the wind farm can usually resume. This emerging co-existence can bring unexpected benefits, for instance, the turbine foundations create new underwater habitats that can support a greater marine biodiversity and boost shellfish stocks. New opportunities and supporting roles for the fishing industry entrepreneurs have been created by wind farms too, for guarding, safety and surveying roles, work that can be welcome when fishing opportunities are restricted or fish quotas exhausted.