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New roadmap to strengthen cooperation between Scotland’s fishing and floating wind sectors

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25 November 2021

A new roadmap of activities, designed to support the constructive interaction between Scotland’s fishing and floating offshore wind industries, has been published by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOW CoE).

The report identifies and prioritises potential interactions between Scotland’s floating wind and fishing industries and outlines a portfolio of activities to address the associated opportunities and challenges both industries face.
ORE Catapult developed the Floating Offshore Wind and Fishing Interaction Roadmap as part of the FOW CoE’s Floating Offshore Wind and Fishing Interaction Project. The authors engaged with representatives of the fishing and floating wind industries as well as key stakeholders associated with Scotland’s marine environment development. It will continue to support this early, collaborative engagement as the commercial scale roll-out of floating wind intensifies over the next decade.

Phase 1 of the project provided a high-level overview of both Scottish fisheries and floating wind technology and operations.

The second phase of the project focused on developing the Floating Offshore Wind and Fishing Interaction Roadmap through a series of workshops involving key stakeholders. During these workshops, potential areas of interaction between the floating wind and fishing industries were identified, prioritised, and relevant future research activities proposed. These future research activities will be led and delivered by organisations across the two sectors and integrated into the future FOW CoE work programme.

Net Zero and Energy Secretary Michael Matheson said: "The Scottish Government is wholly committed to a just transition to net zero, and I am pleased that we have supported this important work to further our understanding of potential interactions between the floating offshore wind energy and fishing sectors. The report will help inform our planning and consenting processes as we build our renewables capacity while continuing to collaborate across sectors to ensure a greener, fairer future for everyone.”

Elspeth Macdonald, CEO of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), said: "Floating offshore wind is clearly part of Scotland’s energy mix for the future, but it will bring major challenges for our industry by increasing the ‘spatial squeeze’ on fishing. Scottish wild-caught seafood, providing healthy protein with very low emissions, is also part of the transition to net zero, so we welcome this early engagement aiming to reduce spatial conflicts between floating offshore wind and fishing. This work recognises fishing’s place in Scotland’s National Marine Plan, and SFF supports initiatives like this one to increase understanding and communication between maritime industries.

Ralph Torr, FOW CoE Programme Manager, added: "The commercial roll-out of floating wind will bring huge economic benefits to Scotland and will be a vital part of our future energy mix as we strive to achieve our net-zero targets. But we recognise that the sector’s development may also impact on Scotland’s established fishing sector. That’s why we want to encourage early engagement on both sides to ensure we can meet the needs of both industries.”

Annie Breaden, Head of Policy for Crown Estate Scotland, commented: "With applications to build Scotland’s next generation of offshore wind farms via our ScotWind Leasing process currently being assessed, this is a very welcome and timely piece of work. We know that there is huge interest in the Scottish offshore wind market, which is vital for our Net Zero ambitions, and effective engagement with other sectors such as fishing is a key part of Scotland’s energy transition.”

It is hoped the Roadmap could be used to support constructive engagement between the floating wind and fishing industries across other regions of the UK.

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