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Federal Officials Plan to Pay the Fishing Industry the Offshore Wind Impacts

According to state and Federal authorities involved in the topic, the Biden administration is examining measures to compensate the US commercial fishing industry for any losses incurred due to the projected expansion of offshore wind power in the Atlantic Ocean. Discussions between state and Federal officials are still in the early stages. However, they aim to eliminate the biggest challenge to President Joe Biden’s efforts to expand offshore wind, which is a critical component of his clean energy strategy to combat climate change.

Commercial fishing fleets have been vocal in their opposition to offshore wind projects, claiming that they represent a severe threat to critical populations such as scallops, clams, squid, and lobsters by interfering with navigation and disrupting ecosystems. This opposition has slowed the approval of the country’s first commercial-scale projects and is one of the reasons the United States has trailed behind Europe in offshore wind development.

As Biden aims to add 30 gigawatts of offshore wind to the nation’s oceans in only nine years, minimizing those issues might speed up the lengthy Federal regulatory process. According to US government studies, offshore wind installations risk displacing some commercial fisheries up to a fifth. According to officials, the administration’s new effort was sparked in part by a letter to Biden last month from nine coastal states pushing the Federal government to lead the way in developing mitigating measures for proven harmful impacts on fisheries from offshore wind projects.

Although the United Governments has yet to build a giant offshore wind farm, firms working on such projects have spent years negotiating compensation mechanisms with states and fishing fleets. But, unfortunately, the Federal government has not taken a national strategy until now.

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