Maine DMR Seeks Industry Input on Fishing Activity in Proposed Offshore Wind Site

Dear Industry Member,

Today, Governor Mills issued a letter to all commercial fishing license-holders outlining a series of actions to protect coastal fisheries from the impacts of offshore wind development.

These actions include a proposal for a 10-year moratorium on new wind projects for state-controlled waters, a review of offshore wind regulations, and an extension of the permitting timeline for the Gulf of Maine Floating Offshore Wind Research Array. For the full message from the Governor please click here.

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is also seeking feedback from commercial and recreational fishermen on how and where fishing activities occur within the area of interest for a proposed offshore wind research array.

Please complete the following brief survey to provide your input which will be used in decisions around locating the proposed site: https://arcg.is/LLfWj

Upon completion of the survey, DMR staff may reach out for additional follow up and information as the process evolves.

A map of the proposed area is is attached to this notice. The State is seeking information to narrow down the site to 16 square miles or less. Additional information on the proposed research array can be found at: https://www.maine.gov/energy/initiatives/offshorewind/researcharray

We are interested in how your fishing activity can help better define the research array and associated research plan. We intend to work with commercial and recreational fishermen to better understand the impacts of wind development in the Gulf of Maine. Ultimately the selected site will not exceed 16 square statute miles and will be connected to the electrical grid by an undersea cable to Wiscasset (Maine Yankee) or Yarmouth (Wyman Station).

First and foremost, the State seeks to avoid displacement of fishing activity, or if that is not possible, to minimize it. We intend to work with the fishing industry to evaluate available data that shows fishing activity, but we know that most of this data is either incomplete (limited in years) or does not include critical fisheries (lobster and tuna). Furthermore, fishing is very dynamic, and we know that areas that have been important historically or may be in the future may not be reflected in the data for areas with high current use.

The survey can be found at https://arcg.is/LLfWj

If you are in need of assistance completing this survey, or know someone who would like to participate but is unable to complete the survey online, please contact Carl Wilson, Director Bureau of Marine Science, at carl.wilson@maine.gov or (207)633-9538.

We estimate this survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete. If you choose to do so, we will follow up directly with you for additional comments.