The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind to improve communications between the commercial fishing industry and offshore wind energy developers.
This first-of-its-kind partnership will create an unprecedented opportunity for those who fish commercially to provide direct input to the wind energy industry on matters of significant interest to their businesses. Under this partnership, both industries will remain autonomous but provide a platform to move towards workable solutions. While non-binding in nature, it is RODA and Ørsted’s hope that discussions will prove beneficial to all parties involved.
“Partnering with Ørsted is a significant step forward as we look to strengthen our ongoing dialogue between commercial fishermen and offshore wind developers,” said RODA Executive Director Annie Hawkins. “RODA believes that we need to develop solutions for offshore wind energy and commercial fishing to coexist, and today’s announcement will support future sustainability for both industries.”
“We are proud to be the first offshore wind developer to partner with RODA, which is an important part to the future of offshore wind,” said CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind and President of Ørsted North America Thomas Brostrøm. “The fishing community must be considered as offshore wind development continues in the U.S. Through this partnership, we will be able to share our concerns in a productive way and develop practical solutions as we all seek to coexist and thrive for a better tomorrow.”
RODA is the only national commercial fishing organization that is purpose-built for interacting with the offshore wind industry to maintain sustainable fisheries. Based from Midcoast Maine to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, it also has the broadest geographic and gear-type range of any East Coast fishing industry membership organization active in offshore wind engagement.
The RODA Board of Directors consists of fishing industry representatives who bring over 200 years of combined operational and management experience, split across the range of federally and state-managed Atlantic fisheries. One of RODA’s primary goals is to ensure that the fishing industry’s input at-large is received, considered, and accommodated to the maximum extent possible in leasing, design, construction, and operations of new offshore developments.
“It is extremely vital that our nation’s fishermen are heard when offshore wind projects are being developed,” said RODA Chairman and Director of Sustainability at Atlantic Capes Fisheries Peter Hughes. “Ørsted has made it clear that they want to be partners with the fishing industry, and we are optimistic that our work with them will set a standard ensuring that fishermen have direct input into wind farm designs and ensuring that their concerns are fully embraced by developers.”
A core component of the partnership will be the creation of a joint industry task force to explore improved approaches to project siting, design, and operations. The two industries have already engaged in extensive communication regarding topics ranging from navigation concerns (including transit lanes and turbine layouts) and other impacts avoidance to identifying a mutual interest in developing transparent strategies for long-term mitigation. This new initiative will provide a more structured process for further collaboration between the two industries.
Ørsted and RODA strongly encourage other offshore wind energy developers and the commercial fishing industry to join this partnership in order to develop well-informed and enduring approaches to best practices and provide broad representation of the industries.
For more information on joining RODA as a fishing industry member, or joining the joint advisory panel as a member of the offshore wind development community, please contact email@example.com.