Global developer of offshore wind farms Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind has entered into a partnership agreement with Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) to improve communications between the seafood industry and offshore wind energy developers.
“This first-of-its-kind partnership will create an unprecedented opportunity for commercial fishermen to provide direct input to the wind energy industry on matters of significant interest to their businesses,” according to the statement issued in Boston by the RODA, originally organized by scallop fishermen and others to protect their interests as the federal government leases large offshore tracts to build wind turbines.
Under this partnership, both industries will remain autonomous but provide a platform to move towards workable solutions. While non-binding in nature, it is RODA and Ørsted’s hope that discussions will prove beneficial to all parties involved.
“Partnering with Ørsted is a significant step forward as we look to strengthen our ongoing dialogue between commercial fishermen and offshore wind developers,” said RODA Executive Director Annie Hawkins. “RODA believes that we need to develop solutions for offshore wind energy and commercial fishing to coexist, and today’s announcement will support future sustainability for both industries.”
“We are proud to be the first offshore wind developer to partner with RODA, which is an important part to the future of offshore wind,” said CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind and President of Ørsted North America Thomas Brostrøm. “The fishing community must be considered as offshore wind development continues in the U.S. Through this partnership, we will be able to share our concerns in a productive way and develop practical solutions as we all seek to coexist and thrive for a better tomorrow.”
“It is extremely vital that our nation’s fishermen are heard when offshore wind projects are being developed,” said RODA Chairman and Director of Sustainability at Atlantic Capes Fisheries Peter Hughes. “Ørsted has made it clear that they want to be partners with the fishing industry, and we are optimistic that our work with them will set a standard ensuring that fishermen have direct input into wind farm designs and ensuring that their concerns are fully embraced by developers.”