(USNewsMag.com) – New England’s federally chartered fisheries agency admitted that offshore wind projects might harm marine animals.
HVAC cables are used for short-range systems within about 30 miles of the coast, whereas HVDC cables are used for more distant projects.
According to New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC) executive director Thomas Nies, a study conducted by the Institute of Marine Research in Norway found that HVDC powerlines radiated magnetic forces that could impede the navigational abilities of haddock larvae. Haddocks may be more vulnerable to predators as a consequence of the reduction in their speed and navigational skills.
The federally recognized NEFMC is an organization that oversees the protection and management of fisheries in the waters off the New England coast.
Niles said they oversee numerous Gulf of Maine fisheries. The Council doesn’t regulate or authorize offshore wind. Based on their experience in fisheries research and management, they do make comments to the Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) on wind projects to express concerns about resources within their control.
The Submarine Cables Policy of the NEFMC prohibits cables in delicate fish habitats, including nesting grounds. The Council hasn’t decided on HVAC vs. HVDC cable environmental impacts.
They prioritize the routing of cables, burying, communication, and monitoring.
Captain Jerry Leeman of the fishing boat Teresa Marie IV, said the parallels between haddock and cod worried him that offshore wind installations in the Gulf of Maine might need cables routed into cod breeding areas, depleting the population by subjecting them to fishermen and predators.
In 2021, the U.S. fished sixteen million pounds, worth $20 million, of haddock.
After a series of mysterious east coast dolphin and whale fatalities, some environmental groups have questioned offshore wind developments. In February, Biden’s administration stated intentions to boost federal financing for offshore wind facilities, even as conservationists blasted the government for not examining offshore wind for the possible source of the inexplicable marine fatalities.
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