Fishermen fear NY wind farm plan

A long-stalled plan to build a forest of power-producing windmills off the coast of New York may finally be gathering momentum, and that is sparking concern among commercial fishermen who fear the giant turbines will ruin an area rich with scallops and other sea life.

Federal officials announced earlier this month that they would auction off the rights to build the wind power farm on a 127-square-mile wedge of the Atlantic Ocean.

The tip of the wedge begins about 11 miles south of Long Island’s popular Jones Beach and spreads out across an area, sandwiched between major shipping lanes, where trawlers harvest at least $3.3 million worth of sea scallops each year, as well as smaller amounts of mackerel, squid and other species, according to a study commissioned by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

“There’s got to be a better place,” said Eric Hansen, a scallop fisherman based in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

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Ashley Herriman

Ashley Herriman is the online editor for National Fisherman.

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