"Fishermen say their concerns, from safety issues to how offshore wind will alter the ocean environment, aren’t being meaningfully considered by regulators"
"For the past nine years, Tom Dameron has managed government relations for Surfside Foods, a New Jersey-based shellfish company. If you asked him five years ago what his biggest challenge was at work, the lifelong fisherman would have said negotiating annual harvest quotas for surf and quahog clams.
Today, he’d tell you it is surviving the arrival of the offshore wind industry, which is slated to install hundreds of turbines atop prime fishing grounds over the next decade.
While there isn’t a single wind turbine spinning off the coast of the Garden state yet, plans are under way for new offshore wind developments that hope to power more than a million homes with carbon-free energy over the next several years.
The wind farms are expected to create thousands of new jobs, but the price tag looks steep to Dameron, who fears those jobs and climate benefits will come at the expense of his industry. If wind lease areas are fully developed across the mid-Atlantic, Dameron said clam fishermen will lose access to highly productive areas of the ocean, which could send the multimillion-dollar industry into a “downward spiral”."