Two Facebook polls Tuesday evening reveal most inshore enterprise owners (98% on the Skippers' Forum; 93% on Fishermen's Forum) were not aware of an online public "feedback session" Tuesday on the proposed offshore area for wind development. That's unacceptable, considering a good chunk of south/southwest coast waters may be converted into a forest of 500' windmills.
The federal/provincial governments have launched an assessment of offshore wind development in Newfoundland and Labrador, led by committee members Glenn Blackwood (Marine Institute), Leslie Grattan (environmental consultant), Shayne McDonald (First Nations), Brian Power (retired bureaucrat), and Paul W. Saunders (Qalipu First Nation).
It wasn't easy, but once I tracked down the federal website Tuesday (find it here) I commented to say the process must do a better job of communicating with the public — particularly inshore enterprise owners — about exactly what's happening, and the potential impact on enterprises and fishing grounds.
During Tuesday's virtual "feedback session" an information deck was circulated.
By 2035 an offshore windmill may reach 495 feet in height, with a 820-foot wingspan.
Now imagine fishing around that.
Now imagine dozens of windmills, and fishing around them.
Fishing won't happen in those waters, of course, which means the inshore fleet will be displaced.
Ottawa's offshore accords with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador are being updated to promote development of offshore wind farms.
The combined impact of aquaculture, wind farms, Long Harbour, Come By Chance, and the Whiffen head transshipment terminal is slowly but surely squeezing out the small-boat fishermen from Placentia/Fortune Bays, and all of 3Ps.
Objections should be much, much louder.
Executive Director, SEA-NL