ICES Annual Science Conference 2020

Theme session C

Co-existence of sustainable fisheries and offshore wind energy development – lessons learned

​This session aims to collate the current knowledge of risks or benefits of offshore wind farms on sustaining existing fisheries and the potential use of, or interactions with, any newly available marine resources through fisheries and aquaculture. Hereby, the complexity of social-ecological systems' interconnections is acknowledged whilst assessing the trade-offs around the exploitation of marine resources within offshore wind farms.​

Offshore wind energy development is proceeding rapidly worldwide. In parts of Europe, wind energy projects have been in place for 20 years and new developments continue to be proposed, planned, and constructed. In other countries, wind energy development is just starting with numerous areas proposed for leasing and construction.

The coexistence of renewable energy with sustainable fisheries and aquaculture is critical for the future of energy, food production, and cultural traditions. Specifically offshore wind development activities in Europe and the United States have been challenged to effectively address fisheries considerations, cumulative impacts, and establishment of regional ecosystem-scale monitoring and research enterprises to understand key interactions. 

​Therefore, a better understanding of the interactions between wind development and other ocean uses as well as broader ocean ecosystems services is necessary. Further, potential opportunities such as co-locating opportunities of offshore wind farms with other activities should be considered and further investigated in light of minimizing overall environmental impacts and maximizing benefits. The session focuses on the following major topics: ​​

  • issues related to wind energy development including siting, best practices for construction, operations, and decommissioning, mitigation, and monitoring

  • monitoring the effects of offshore development on marine species and habitats

  • interoperability and fisheries management issues related to impacts on fishing communities and fishery stocks, including commercial and recreational fisheries and aquaculture interactions 

  • opportunities to benefit from marine resources from offshore wind farms

  • economic and marketing aspects associated with “new resources” from wind farms such as brown crab or blue mussels

Case studies, practical experience, and approaches are welcomed on how to inform such trade-offs to summarize the lessons learned on how to balance Blue Growth, fisheries and wind energy activities, and marine conservation.

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Conveners​: 

Antje Gimpel (Germany)

Vanessa Stelzenmüller (Germany)

Anne Hawkins  (USA)

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Theme session C

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
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