Offshore wind energy is set to make an increasing presence in a number of European countries in the coming years. Developments potentially add to increasing pressures upon inshore fisheries, which raise questions about the compatibility of the two types of economic activity. We examine the potential ecological effects of the development of offshore windfarms upon fishery resources. We also study the direct effects upon fishing activity and techniques, by focusing on those effects occurring at each stage of a windfarm’s development. Consideration is then given to how fisheries issues and industry concerns are represented and accounted for in national planning system decision making, drawing on early experience in the UK. In order to improve impact prediction, there is a need for further research to develop understanding of environmental and ecological affects upon fisheries, principally noise and vibration and electromagnetic field effects. However, of particular importance for the fishing industry is better understanding of the effects of installations on the range of fishing techniques undertaken. This would feed into judgements on restricting fishing activity for safety reasons, and assist in determining the socio-economic impact of developments on fishing communities so that the location of developments can be planned appropriately to maximise their compatibility with fisheries. Fishing groups should be involved in pre-development decision making as much as possible in order to build trust and maximise the scope for reconciling conflicting issues to the benefit of both wind energy developers and the fishing industry.