Statement on announcement of three Shetland ScotWind projects
Reacting to today’s announcement by the Crown Estate Scotland of three Shetland ScotWind projects, Shetland Fishermen’s Association Executive Officer Daniel Lawson said the areas in question overlapped with known haddock nursery grounds and saithe spawning sites, two of the Shetland fishing fleet’s valuable and popular whitefish catches.
“The impact of these projects on nursery grounds and spawning sites is unknown, and research is urgently needed before productive and pristine fishing grounds are destroyed in this offshore windrush.
“It is clear to everyone that more renewable energy is needed, however fish is a low carbon source of nutritious protein food – displacing legitimate fishing activity is environmental madness.
“These and other wind farm developments will have an impact on ecosystems and therefore on fish stocks and fisheries in the area. Unlike the offshore windfarm sector, fishing relies entirely on the good state of marine ecosystems for its survival.
“The Scottish Government is effectively privatising areas of seabed which are critical to our local economy here in Shetland, for the benefit of Irish, Norwegian and French/Spanish multinationals.”
Mr Lawson added that it was imperative for the impact of any projects that do proceed to be minimised, especially through joined up cable corridors to protect inshore fisheries and mandatory tension leg mooring systems to that turbine anchor lines take up less space.