Now Available: New Fisheries Research Report and Guidelines for Communication with Fishermen

10-30-2015

BOEM is proud to announce (1) the availability of a new report regarding fisheries research and monitoring protocols, and (2) guidelines for offshore wind developers to improve their communication with fishermen.

The report, Identifying Information Needs and Approaches for Assessing Potential Impacts of Offshore Wind Farm Development on Fisheries Resources in the Northeast Region, is the result of work conducted by the Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation and the Cornell Cooperative Extension program. Together these two groups canvassed fisheries managers, scientists, and fishermen to provide BOEM recommendations for fishery resource research and monitoring specific to the Southern New England/New York Bight area. One of the principle recommendations of the report was to improve communication between BOEM, fishermen, and offshore wind developers in order to develop, prioritize, and review BOEM's and lessees' fisheries research and monitoring efforts.

One step that BOEM is taking today to help improve communication is the adoption of new guidelines, entitled Guidelines for Providing Information on Fisheries Social and Economic Conditions for Renewable Energy Development on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, for offshore wind developers in the Atlantic. These guidelines will help ensure that lessees properly inform themselves about fisheries' social and economic conditions in and around their project site. This guidance document recommends developers hire fishery liaisons and fishery representatives early in the plan development process. This is an important first step to ensure that fishery concerns are heard and fishermen become participants in the plan development process at its earliest stages.

BOEM is continuing to look into ways to adopt recommendations in this new report as well as previous and ongoing studies related to fishery best management practices. As a result of recommendations in this report, BOEM will also revise the Atlantic's Renewable Energy Habitat and Ecology Section in its Study Development Plan beginning with the 2017-2021 plan. This revision will describe a more comprehensive strategy for research and monitoring of impacts to fishery resources and benthic habitats.

If you would like more information about these important efforts, please contact me via the information provided below.

Tracey B. Moriarty
BOEM Office of Public Affairs
(703) 787-1571