Can offshore wind and commercial fishing coexist?


Ørsted works closely with the fishing industry when planning, building and operating our wind farms, ensuring peaceful coexistence.

Question:


Do wind farms harm stocks, get in the way of fishing activities or cause economic and environmental damage?

Fact:


Offshore wind already coexists successfully with maritime and fishing industries, with close collaboration throughout development, construction and operation.


Working closely with maritime industries


When the sea is your source of income, or even just the place you fish recreationally, the arrival of an offshore wind farm can cause understandable concern.

The Ocean Wind team understands the cultural and economic importance of fishing grounds. A dedicated Marine Affairs team works closely with commercial and recreational communities throughout the process of developing, building and operating offshore wind farms.

In addition to undertaking environmental assessments when determining the siting and layout of a wind farm, questions, comments and concerns of local fishing communities are also considered. This input gathered by fisheries liaisons helps inform the development of wind farms.

Safe navigation


It may not be obvious from a distance, but the wind turbines in an offshore wind farm are spaced widely in a grid pattern, with two distinct lines of orientation. The wind turbines are lit and marked in accordance with guidance from the U.S Coast Guard, and their position is reflected accurately on nautical charts.

All this allows mariners to navigate and fish within the wind farms, except in discreet areas that will be restricted during the construction phase of the project.

Ørsted provides regular updates about maritime activities through twice-weekly mariners' briefings. These are currently available on the Ørsted website, and will soon be accessible on iPhone and Android apps.

Ørsted's biodiversity commitment
We are commited to ensure that every new project from 2030 has a net positive impact on biodiversity.

Protecting biodiversity


As for the fish and other sea creatures that live inside Ørsted's wind farms – and on which fisheries rely for their income – these, too, can coexist happily with offshore wind, thanks in no small part to the expertise of a team of environmental specialists.

During construction, precaution are taken to reduce environmental impacts through the use of technology such as bubble curtains, noise mitigation screens, hydro sound dampers or suction bucket jackets to reduce noise. And once built, turbine foundations act as artificial reefs where new diverse habitats can grow.

Wind farms are closely monitored throughout operation to mitigate any possible impacts on the marine environment, including on commercially important species and habitats. This has included groundbreaking research into crustacean stocks on one of Ørsted's wind farms in the UK. This research showed no negative impact from offshore wind activities.

What is offshore wind power?

What is offshore wind power?

Offshore wind power explained

How we capture the power of the wind at sea to produce clean, reliable electricity