Norwegian fishing industry body Fiskebåt has criticised proposals for wind farm development on the Goliat field off western Finnmark.
In a letter to the Ministry, Fiskebåt departmental head Espen Jacobsen points out that these wind energy plans were not included in the Ministry’s own planned study areas.
‘It is very unfortunate if ad hoc developments of wind power installations are accepted in areas that are not included in the study areas that the state has laid down as a basis. Any acceptance of such developments would in that case undermine the process for the selection of areas for which NVE has been given responsibility.
In its letter to the Ministry of Oil and Energy, Fiskebåt states that it cannot be assumed that the development of this wind power plant will reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, as the installation on the Goliat field is currently already connected to power from shore. But a key aspect of this is that the area in question is located in an important spawning and migration area for capelin. This in turn has negative consequences for cod fisheries, among other factors.
‘It is a well-known fact that cod and other species follow the capelin migration, and any negative effects on the capelin migration will also have consequences for the movememts of and fishing for other species both in the area in question and for the coastal fishery,’ he stated.
‘Fiskebåt’s concern that all developments of wind power plants in Norwegian sea areas must follow a comprehensive plan, and that developments must take place in close dialogue with the fishing industry, research institutes and other specialist departments. This is crucial to ensure that fishermen are not displaced from their traditional fishing grounds, as well as to safeguard the biological diversity in our sea areas,’ Espen Jacobsen said, commenting that the proposal is for an installation consisting of five wind turbines able to produce 15 mW. The foundation of each wind turbine needs to be secured with six anchor lines with a horizontal length of 1700 metres.
‘Fiskebåt has previously been contacted by this developer and in that connection submitted our concerns in relation to the fisheries in the area,’ he said.
‘Development could have an environmentally negative consequence for fisheries, as well as a financial cost to society in that such development would be in a position to demand that costs be covered through the oil tax refund scheme. We are now asking the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to reject any applications concerning the development of wind power plants that do not lie within the study areas NVE and others have selected as relevant for development,’ Espen Jacobsen said.