Proposed wind farms off of New London worry local fishermen

New London

Fishermen were quick to react to the possibility of another wind farm off the New England coast.

Last week, Ørsted and Eversource announced a joint venture and has submitted a bid to build Connecticut’s first offshore wind farm, in response to the state’s request for proposals for offshore wind energy generation.

The approximately 200-megawatt project – Constitution Wind – would be the first of its kind to serve the state of Connecticut and would be located in federal waters 65 miles off shore.

“That’s the traditional fishing ground where they’re talking about now,” said Stonington Fisherman Bob Guzzo. “It’s going to take a big part away of our income over there where we fish off Long Island.”

Fishermen say they’ve already run into problems with the Block Island Wind Farm. Some cables could not be buried because of the rocky bottom.

“They said oh we’re gonna fix that we’re gonna lay a concrete mat over it and the guys try to fish over that. All they do is rip up their gear up and they can’t fish there,” said Guzzo. “Nobody’s compensating them for their gear loss.”

Fishermen also say the turbines have interfered with their radar and are navigational hazards especially in fog or at night for any boater.

“I think they better fine tune it a little more and the less area they’re going to interfere with us off of here the better,” said Guzzo.

He is hoping fishermen will have a seat at the table with the state. Wind farm developers have said the turbines would not have a negative affect on the fishing industry.
“Like I say we’re losing ground everyday between closed areas and what we can bring in and now what we can’t go there where there might be fish where we traditionally fish for hundreds of years,” said Guzzo. “We won’t be able to go anymore.”

Connecticut regulators have received a total of three proposals from developers. The state is expected to choose bidders for the proposed wind farm in June. It has also received proposals for other green initiatives. 

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