There’s a new roadmap for constructive interaction between Scotland’s fishing and floating offshore wind industries.

Steisdal TetraSpar under tow

Steisdal TetraSpar

Source: TetraSpar Demonstrator ApS

Steisdal TetraSpar under tow

The ten-year roadmap, published by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult’s Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOW CoE), 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.

“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,” said Ralph Torr, FOW CoE programme manager.

“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.”

A fair future

Phase 1 of the project has 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.

The roadmap has been welcomed by both sectors.

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.”

Annie Breaden, head of policy for Crown Estate Scotland, added: “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.

The project’s reports are available for download from ORE Catapult