Press Statement Re: Governor Mills' Announcement to Development Floating Offshore Wind in Maine
State to seek Nations first floating offshore wind research array, located in the Gulf of Maine.
You can read the release from the Governor's Office HERE
For Immediate Release: November 20, 2020
Contact: Ben Martens, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association
Brunswick, ME – The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association released the following statement today in response to Governor Janet Mills’ announcement that the State of Maine plans to create the country’s first floating offshore wind research array in the Gulf of Maine. The research array would be located 20 to 40 miles offshore into the Gulf of Maine and take up approximately 16 square miles of ocean.
“Fishermen are on the front lines of climate change as shifting fish stocks and rising oceans impact their daily lives,” said Ben Martens, Executive Director of the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. “Developing renewable energy solutions is an important component to addressing our shared climate crisis, but it shouldn't be at the expense of the iconic fishermen, seafood providers, and fishing communities who keep us fed and support the local economy. The loss of 16 miles of fishing grounds has the potential to have a profoundly negative impact on some of our most cherished fishing communities and as such the state of Maine must establish a best-in-class outreach program focused on transparency that includes fishermen throughout the decision-making process.”
Most wind leases last for 30 years, potentially closing fishing grounds to fishermen for an entire generation.
“We have some real concerns with the speed at which this process seems to be moving,” said Alex Todd, Chairman of MCFA’s board. “With the global pandemic limiting the ability to hold real and meaningful conversations, we hope that the Governor’s office will take the time necessary to truly engage and listen to the fishing industry. For the sake of the next generation of fishermen from Maine, we can’t rush this process.”
The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association is an industry-led nonprofit working to enhance the ecological and financial sustainability of Maine fisheries through advocacy, education, outreach, and collaborative research projects. MCFA provides a voice for community-based fishermen while identifying and fostering ways to restore the Gulf of Maine and sustain Maine’s historic fishing communities for future generations.