The European Parliament conference – “Offshore Wind Projects, Another Environmental Failure? Yes, says European Fisheries”
Offshore Wind Projects, Another Environmental Failure? Yes, says European Fisheries
Yesterday, Wednesday 24 May 2023, MEP François-Xavier Bellamy (FR-EPP group) and MEP Ana Miranda (ES – G/EFA) hosted a Conference “Offshore Wind Projects – towards a new environmental failure?” to a full hall at the European Parliament.
This Conference brought together independent scientists, representatives of local authorities, of the European Commission, of the wind industry and members of Swedish, German, Dutch, Belgian, French, Spanish and Portuguese fisheries representing thousands of ships active in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the Channel, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea.
The scientific panel illustrated the contradiction between the new and accelerated targets of offshore wind capacity and the existing knowledge of its impacts on marine biodiversity such as pollution and effects on the patterns of wind and currents and on feed and the ecosystems. In addition, current research indicates which data should be known, but are not studied in a sufficiently precise and transparent manner for instance acoustic emissions, electromagnetic fields and cumulative effects.
The policy panel showed that the European Commission and wind industry claims of an existing dialogue and of a “happy co-existence” are wholly unsupported by the testimonies heard in the Conference from fisheries in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal and Sweden.
The mayor of Saint-Pierre d’Oléron (France), Christophe Sueur, also explained how, on cue from EU defined capacity targets for offshore wind, national authorities, far from any consultation, are completely disregarding fisheries and local communities and ramming through offshore wind projects. Other fisheries throughout the EU come to the same findings and conclusions, from Portugal in the South to Sweden in the North.
Finally, the Food Panel on Food Security showed both the dependency of the EU population on imported seafood (less traceable and obtained in a less sustainable manner) and the need for a balance between energy sovereignty and food self-sufficiency.
François-Xavier Bellamy and Ana Miranda concluded that the advocacy of the European fisheries must urgently continue while other participants demand that clear guarantees and safeguards be adopted for the European fisheries faced with the foreseen exclusivity of offshore wind capacity.
After the meeting François-Xavier Bellamy said:
“Happy to have welcomed everyone today to the European Parliament, for a colloquium which will mark a milestone, experts from all over Europe – scientists, fishermen, local elected officials… to alert on the new environmental bankruptcy that the massive development of wind energy represents. at sea.”
“With my colleague Ana Miranda, from the Greens, we prepared this important event, with the same conviction: ecology cannot justify this unprecedented destruction of the marine environment. We have been warning for a long time; Let’s change course before it’s too late.”
Anna Miranda, the deputy of the BNG in the European Parliament and co-organiser of the conference Ana Miranda said:
“We cannot allow the benefits of wind power to take precedence over our fishing sector.”
“Impact studies on offshore wind projects remain too influenced by public authorities and by the wind industry and cannot be considered as independent and objective.”
“The current trend of measures put forward by the EU are leading to fisheries disappearance.”
“Fisheries have determined that offshore wind projects are exclusionary and are asking for the same long-term perspectives and guarantees awarded to the offshore wind industry.”
“The EU is overly dependent on imported seafood; EU fisheries – and its population – therefore need a balance between energy autonomy and seafood independence.”
“Is offshore wind capacity an environmental failure? Yes, the answer is yes!”
“In 2020, the behaviour of the wind industry and of public authorities towards fisheries was exclusionary, today it is predatory.”