Offshore wind is planned to greatly increase in Europe and the U.S. It will have an impact on existing fisheries scientific data collections.
Large-scale wind development in Europe and U.S. will occupy sizable areas of marine space - overlapping with existing regional fishery resource survey areas and areas fished. Europe’s offshore wind capacity is set to increase from 12 GW to 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050. The US has set goals of 30 GW by 2030 with a path to 110 GW by 2050. Due to the large areas these developments will cover and the potential changes in habitat, statistical survey designs and sampling methods of fishery independent surveys may be disrupted, and institutions responsible for maintaining important scientific time series will need to consider and potentially adapt to these changes.
In countries such as the U.S., the impacts of offshore wind energy on scientific survey operations are anticipated to be major as large areas will soon preclude the safe operation and limit deployment of existing survey platforms and methods. Fisheries dependent data collections must also consider and address the effects and potential impacts of wind developments, particularly in stocks that solely rely on fisheries dependent data for assessment. Offshore wind development may affect distribution, abundance, and other fisheries metrics, and these effects will need to be accounted for in scientific survey operations and stock assessments.
In this session, we identify methodologies to understand and adapt fishery independent and dependent data collections, methods to account for wind farm effects on advice, and develop recommendations for linking regional data collections with offshore wind energy monitoring. Towards this goal, we will present our initial concepts, solicit input into these topics, bring awareness of this emerging challenge and potential opportunities on our scientific enterprises, and identify various expertise needed to address the topic.