The energy system in the United States has a significant opportunity to meet society’s needs for reliable, affordable, and clean energy by utilizing offshore wind. Development is moving quickly in the Atlantic Ocean, with the first large-scale utility project approval anticipated in December 2020. Offshore wind will have positive and negative impacts on existing ocean resources and ocean users, yet there is no precedent in the United States for evaluating effects on fisheries and fishers from utility-scale development. US regulations stipulate that wind developers conduct extensive surveys and impact monitoring for the approximate 30-year life of each project. This requirement creates an unprecedented and exciting opportunity for regional-scale, multi-decade, and cooperative monitoring and research that can inform decision-making for US regulators managing wind development and fisheries. This paper offers a vision for creating collaborative science partnerships designed to help build trust and transparency among two important US industries—fishing and offshore wind.
This article is part of Oceanography's Special Issue on Understanding the Effects of Offshore Wind Energy Development on Fisheries.