Sunday, June 23, 2024

Some anglers say Rhode Island’s Block Island wind farm has improved fishing » Yale Climate Connections

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Off the coast of Rhode Island, anglers fish for striped bass, fluke, and mahi-mahi.

Smythe: “Recreational angling is a prominent, very important use of our coastal waters. It is an economically, socially, culturally important activity.”

So Tiffany Smythe of the United States Coast Guard Academy says it’s important to know how anglers feel about fishing near offshore wind turbines.

Her team surveyed about 200 recreational anglers about the Block Island Wind Farm — the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

Smythe: “We found, overall, a neutral to positive effect of this wind farm project on recreational angling.”

She says many of those surveyed believe the turbines improve fishing. Respondents say the bases of the turbines attract fish, like artificial reefs.

But some express concerns about this or future wind projects — for example, whether they would interfere with fishing access or cause crowding.

So Smythe says it’s important to include anglers in siting and planning decisions for offshore wind farms.

Smythe: “From the very, very first days that the ideas are even floated.”

So turbines and fishing boats can successfully share the seas.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media

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