ASA wants to be heard on topic of wind farms

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The American Sportfishing Association on Tuesday released a position statement on offshore wind energy’s possible expansion along the Atlantic coast.

ASA is committed to engage on OWE projects in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions, plus other areas as development continues. The association is targeting access, mitigation, management and economic impacts to fisheries.

“With increased attention on renewable energy, there has been a rapid expansion in proposed OWE projects,” Mike Waine, ASA Atlantic fisheries policy director, said in a statement. “With thousands of square miles of ocean ready for development, we must make sure that potential impacts on recreational fishing are accounted for to keep fishing opportunities open to American anglers. Our position statement outlines major topics important to the sportfishing industry, such as access, science-based management and impacts to local fishing economies.”

Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island is currently the only OWE operating off the East Coast. Planning for future production is reportedly increasing with 15 leases currently issued by the Bureau for Ocean Energy Management. Those leases range from Massachusetts to North Carolina and the permitting process involves federal and state review.

“ASA is committed to working with the developers as well as federal and state agencies to provide our input throughout the process,” said Waine.