Beginning this week, scientists at the School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST) will host a series of scoping workshops for the fishing sector. "The workshops will identify the questions and information that would be most valuable for pre-and post-construction assessments of fisheries, ecological conditions, social and economic aspects of fisheries in and around the Vineyard Wind offshore wind lease area," said Steve Cadrin, Professor and Chair of the Department of Fisheries at SMAST.
Earlier this year, as part of UMass Dartmouth's emerging Blue Economy Initiative, SMAST and Vineyard Wind entered into an agreement to conduct pre- and post-construction assessments of fisheries and associated ecological conditions related to offshore wind. According to Vineyard Wind's press release, the fishing industry has raised important questions about the impacts of offshore wind development on the marine environment and on sea life. Individuals involved in any local fisheries are encouraged to attend the workshops, which will include a brief description, status, and plans of the Vineyard Wind project, results from some initial fishery resource surveys, and discussion to identify priorities for monitoring plans.
SMAST's workshops for the fishing sector:
- Thurs, Nov. 8: 6-8 pm, SMAST East, 836 S. Rodney French Blvd., New Bedford, MA
- Thurs, Nov. 15: 6-8 pm, Commercial Fisheries Center of RI, East Farm Campus Bldg. 61B URI, Kingston, RI
- Mon, Nov. 19: 6-8 pm, Chatham Community Center, 792 Main St., Chatham, MA
- Mon, Dec. 3: 6-8 pm, West Tisbury Library, 1042 State Rd., West Tisbury, MA
The identified priorities will be used to assist in design studies of the Vineyard Wind project. Information collected by SMAST will be publicly available to help inform future offshore wind permitting and public policy decisions.
Vineyard Wind is offering commercial fishermen $200 to attend workshops. Contact Crista Bank at 508.525.0421 or firstname.lastname@example.org.