The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) initially approached fishermen and seafood processors about their plans for wind turbines to be placed off-shore, and to help generate electricity for the mainland consistently. Coming to them in a happy, and what seemed to be a mutually respectful manner, they let the groups know that BOEM was there to listen to their concerns and make adjustments.
Now, according to the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative, and the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, that isn’t happening.
Despite BOEM calling for public opinion, the groups say their concerns are falling on deaf ears no matter what they do. At the heart of their concerns, they worry that the turbine’s electromagnetic field (EMF) cables will have a massive impact on key fish populations. In turn, they worry it will not only harm marine life but could also devastate the economy and force many to close their doors.
Lori Steele, executive director of the seafood trade group West Coast Seafood Processors Association spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) about the issue. “BOEM has told us that if Oregon doesn’t want this, they will back off and pursue other offshore wind areas, and we’ve made it pretty clear to them that Oregon doesn’t want this, and they’re still pushing forward…They are giving us nothing but lip service.”
Yet John Romero, public affairs officer for BOEM’s Pacific office, tells DCNF “BOEM is committed to continuing to work with all users of the ocean, including the fishing community.” This canned comment is shortsighted and leaves a lot unlooked at.
Many of these groups simply want them to explore more of Oregon’s coastline, instead of zeroing in on an area that is already heavily fished. Some have alleged that BOEM has failed to use all the resources available to them to study potential sites, and they have every right to be mad about this.
At the end of the day, these people depend on this life. Fishing is all they know, and in many instances, it is a family business that has been running for decades. Changing their waterways for “green” energy while destroying the fish population isn’t helping the earth or its inhabitants at all.