The European Parliament has warned of a possible negative impact of new offshore wind farms on fisheries in European Union (EU) waters, and called for conducting more research on how to avoid or mitigate its effects and adopting measures to safeguard fishers’ livelihood.
To protect fisheries, EU member states should ensure that offshore wind turbines are placed away from fishing grounds and only built if there is guarantee of no negative environmental, ecological, socio-economic, and socio-cultural impact, MEPs said in a resolution adopted this week.
Wind turbines should be placed away from some fishing areas
Also, fishers must be involved in the decision-making process related to the construction of offshore wind farms to help reduce their potential negative impact, while EU member states should compensate those affected and facilitate access to insurance for vessels fishing in areas with offshore wind farms.
Other renewable energy systems, such as floating wind, hydrogen, or solar, could be more appropriate
According to MEPs, other renewable energy systems, such as floating wind, hydrogen, or solar, could be more appropriate in some fishing areas.
The parliament also calls for cooperation with the United Kingdom, which has left the union, given that over 85% of all offshore wind capacity in the EU’s waters is concentrated in the North Sea, Baltic Sea, and North-East Atlantic.
Offshore wind is expected to cover 30% of the EU electricity demand in 2050
According to European Commission’s estimate, 30% of the EU’s electricity demand in 2050 will be met by offshore wind. The EU marine space already counts 110 offshore wind farms with more than 5,000 turbines, while reaching the 2050 capacity targets calls for using 15 times more marine space than what is used now.