We want to hear from fishermen
Vineyard Wind is committed to working with the fishing industry so that both the wind and fishing industries can grow together offshore Massachusetts. This commitment is long-standing, starting with Vineyard Wind engaging the offshore wind industry’s first fisheries representative in 2010, and will continue through the permitting, construction, operations, and decommissioning of the project. Please check this page often for the latest updates.
Our Fisheries Liaison is Crista Bank, who takes the lead in communicating with the fishing industry on behalf of the project. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or cell 508-525-0421
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SMAST recently provided Vineyard Wind with recommendations for fisheries studies and monitoring for impacts before, during, and after construction. As suggested by NMFS these studies are designed to be “nested and modular”, with the intent for them to also support longer-term, regional studies. SMAST conducted four workshops with fishermen, with over 75 active fishermen participating, in developing its studies recommendations. In addition, Vineyard Wind engaged SMAST to conduct a trial “video trawl” survey in the Fall of 2018. Read SMAST’s full report and recommendations here. Vineyard Wind plans to initiate surveys based on SMAST’s recommendations in the Spring of 2019.
Vineyard Wind engaged a fisheries economists to compile existing fisheries economics information from RI DEM, NMFS, and other sources to estimate total economic exposure, or landings value, from the project area by Rhode Island and Massachusetts fishermen. These reports inform compensatory mitigation planning for fishermen.
A project update was provided at the March 29, 2019 Massachusetts Fisheries Working Group meeting. Vineyard Wind’s presentation materials and documents referenced are provided here.
All current and past Notices to Mariners can be found in the document room.
Our current Fisheries Communications Plan is available here. We welcome comments and suggested changes, as the communications plan is updated regularly; please contact the Fisheries Liaison (see below).
Visit our permitting page for information on opportunity for public comment, and current status of the permitting process.
+ FISHERIES STUDIES
+ MA FISHERIES WORKING GROUP
+ RHODE ISLAND FISHERIES ADVISORY BOARD (CRMC)
+ COMPENSATORY MITIGATION
The Fisheries Representatives represents the interests of fishermen to the project, and help make sure the project is getting the information it should have about the fishing industry. Fisheries Reps represent the interests of fishermen, not the project. Fisheries Reps also help get out the word about project activities offshore, and help to make sure the project is aware of any immediate problems or concerns from fishermen. Some Fisheries Reps are compensated for their time by the project.
We are currently seeking additional fisheries representatives. If you are interested, please contact Crista Bank, Fisheries Liaison.
FISHERIES STUDIES AND SCIENCE
Vineyard Wind firmly believes that offshore wind developers must support good fisheries studies and science as the offshore wind industry grows up alongside the region’s oldest offshore industry- fishing. This includes both studies around construction of a particular project, as well as long-term, regional studies to provide good baseline information. These studies should be in addition to past and on-going basic research such as conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
All fisheries survey and science reports to Vineyard Wind will be provided here, and updates of key milestones provided below.
March 2019: SMAST provides report of fishermen workshops and recommendations for fisheries surveys and monitoring. The report’s recommendations are based on input from commercial fishermen, regulators, and academics. Key recommendations are for a committee of fishermen to provide on-going input into the fisheries survey process, and for a “modular and nested” design to integrate studies across projects, phases of projects, and with existing regional studies programs such as NEAMAP.
Fall 2018: Innovative video trawl survey method trialed by SMAST with funding from Vineyard Wind. Trial concludes that further development of the method is needed before it can be utilized in the area south of Martha’s Vineyard, due to bottom conditions
Fall 2018: SMAST conducts four workshops in Rhode Island and New Bedford and on Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod to solicit input in the study design from fishermen. Over 100 participants provide input, 75 of them active fishermen
Fall 2017: Vineyard Wind engages SMAST to design and undertake fisheries studies pertaining to the project, asking that SMAST identify issues and research questions most important to the commercial fishermen in the region, and provide recommendations for how studies related to project construction can also support long-term, regional studies efforts.