Equinor has prepared a Fisheries Mitigation Plan to minimize effects of Beacon Wind on fisheries. Equinor's overall philosophy and principles include:
- Equinor Wind’s approach and philosophy to project development is premised on the belief that the fishing industry and offshore wind energy developments can share ocean resources. Equinor Wind believes that impacts to fisheries can be minimized by carefully evaluating existing uses of the lease area, avoiding impacts where feasible, or reducing impacts through mitigation.
- Equinor Wind’s approach to fisheries mitigation is founded upon the fisheries mitigation hierarchy. More specifically, this approach means that we anticipate and avoid impacts on fisheries resource and fishers; minimize impacts where avoidance is not possible; and take steps to offset any significant residual adverse impacts that are predicted to remain.
- Equinor Wind believes that the Beacon Wind can be developed in a manner that minimizes disruption to the natural environment, natural resources, and existing uses of the Lease Area. Equinor Wind believes that a successful cooperation requires open and regular communication between the Project team and the fishing industry, starting with the development and survey phase, and continuing through permitting, construction, operation, and decommissioning of the wind farm.
- Equinor Wind does not intend to restrict or apply for broad-based restrictions on fishing activities within the operational wind farm. To the extent that any restrictions are necessary, these may be limited to standard safety zones during the construction phase, and operational safety zones around manned or sensitive offshore platforms or access points.
- Equinor Wind recognizes the importance of adaptive management and will continue to evolve its procedures for the evaluation and mitigation of fisheries resources.
- For example, the Plan described herein is an update to the details described in the original Empire Wind 1 bid submittal, reviewed and commented on by NYSERDA, and subsequently presented to the F-TWG on November 20, 2019.