The Port of New Bedford is hosting an in-person meeting for fishermen and industry advocates in the city Aug. 6, with Bureau of Ocean Energy Management officials to discuss the impact of offshore wind development in the New York Bight.
BOEM representatives will attend the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. session virtually, in a follow-up to a July 20 conference call with port officials and the Fisheries Survival Fund that discussed potential dangers for the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast scallop fishery.
Friday’s meeting at the Fairfield Inn and Suites at 185 MacArthur Drive, New Bedford, Mass., “will highlight fishing industry concerns over offshore wind development, particularly in relation to the valuable scallop fishery, which has helped make New Bedford the nation’s most valuable fishing port for 20 consecutive years,” according to an announcement from the port agency Tuesday.
"We want to focus on every fishery we have in the port," said Blair Bailey, the port's general counsel. It's important to get fishermen together in person, so port officials are getting a meeting room with seats for about 50.
"This is the fishing industry, these people deal in person," said Bailey. "At this time of year, it's not easy for these captains to get the time" away from working at sea, he said.
A digital flyer is circulating around the fleet, encouraging attendance at the meeting.
Meeting organizers have a list of key agenda items to talk about:
- Enhanced fishermen engagement requirements in the Final Sale Notice.
- Number, size, orientation, and location of the proposed lease areas.
- The need for no-build transit routes through the lease areas.
- Potential prescribed turbine layouts in the leases.
- Science, monitoring and mitigation requirements for construction and operation.