Sunday October 1, 2023
Home EP Fishermen want compensation if they have to give way to windmills

Fishermen want compensation if they have to give way to windmills

An environmental impact assessment is required not only for the installation of new wind turbines on land, but also for the construction of new wind farms at sea. The construction of large wind farms can have a negative impact on marine life and fisheries.

The European Parliament warns about this in a report by the Dutch MEP Peter van Dalen (ChristenUnie). His report was passed with 512 votes in favour, 21 against and 159 abstentions.

New offshore wind turbines should not cause any inconvenience to fisheries and fishermen should be involved in decision-making even before construction. In addition, EU countries must ensure that wind farms are only built well away from fishing grounds. If the fishing industry nevertheless suffers damage from energy parks at sea, compensation must be paid to affected fishermen.

In 25 years, fifteen times more space at sea will have to be used for wind turbines. Eighty percent of all fishing boats in the EU consist of small-scale fishing, with small vessels, close to the coast. They mainly operate in coastal waters where many such new turbines are planned.

The construction of new offshore wind farms can also have negative consequences for marine life. To reduce the dangers, more research is needed into the negative effects on the seabed, both during construction and through the use of the wind turbines. After a few decades they will have to be replaced or phased out. In both cases, research must be carried out into the possible consequences of this.

Because 85 percent of the offshore wind farms will soon be located in the northern seas of the European Union, good cooperation with the United Kingdom is necessary. These include turbines in the North Sea and the Northern Atlantic Ocean. That is why the European Parliament wants the European Commission to make good agreements with London.

'Fishermen are the oldest users of the sea and therefore there must be real cooperation with them if wind farms are built at sea,' says Dutch MEP Peter van Dalen (ChristenUnie). He stands up for the fishermen. 'Fishermen earn their living on the water and it is therefore only logical that this sector should be given a decisive voice in the form of participation. So that is more than just 'participation'.

The fisheries itself should also look at the use of new forms of energy, say the MEPs. Floating wind farms, renewable hydrogen, but also wind and solar energy can be used in some places in the fishing industry.

In addition, consideration should be given to combining wind farms at sea with protected natural areas in the sea. The European seas already have 110 wind farms with more than five thousand turbines. By 2050, fifteen times more space at sea must be used for turbines than is already the case.

The report emphasizes that fishermen should be given real say, "more than just a little say," Van Dalen said at a press conference in Strasbourg.


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