Denmark: Fishermen stress need for government to involve them in siting new wind turbines

by Eurofish
Wind Turbines

The Danish Parliament has approved a plan for a massive expansion of offshore wind generation of nine gigawatts by the year 2030. The locations of the necessary new wind turbines and their connecting underwater cables will directly impact Danish fishermen because these locations are generally off-limits to fishing activity, say the Danish Fishermen Producers Organization (DFPO) and the Danish Fisheries Association (DFA), both representing commercial fishing interests. Without disputing that there is a growing need for sustainable energy production, the fishing industry is determined to become more involved in the decision-making process regarding turbine location so that fishing and electricity generation can coexist. The DFA notes that, according to research by Danish Technical University, Danish fishermen today operate on one third of the Danish seabed, with 90% of their catch taken from just under 20% of those waters. Thus, DFA points out, it should be possible to avoid placing turbines on important fishing grounds.


Fishing contributes healthy and climate-friendly food and valuable jobs, says Svend Erik Andersen, DFA chairman, and the Danish government needs to deliver on its promise of coexistence between fishing and offshore turbines. Even restricting fishing over cables should be avoided because, the association says, fishing vessels have proven they can successfully fish over cables currently in place. Furthermore, with fishing activity occupying a fraction of overall Danish water area, it should be straightforward to avoid placing new turbines on important fishing grounds. The parliamentary majority also agreed to set aside half a billion kroner for a new ocean foundation, Havfund, to ensure that the marine environment and fish stocks will not suffer from the expansion of offshore turbines. This must involve fishing industry interests as well, says DFA. “We are happy that our concerns about the marine environment and fish stocks are being taken care of,” says Andersen, “and the DFA are naturally ready to contribute to the foundation’s work, and we hope that we will be involved.”

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