Fisheries Mitigation Project
The Eleven East Coast states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina (the States) have been advancing an initiative to establish a regional fund administrator for fisheries compensatory mitigation which would provide financial compensation for economic loss from offshore wind development off the Atlantic Coast. Recognizing the importance of sustaining a vibrant fishing community that can coexist and thrive alongside offshore wind energy development, the States have released a Request for Information (RFI) aimed at receiving input from impacted members of the fishing industry, offshore wind developers, corporate and financial management entities, as well as interested members of the public, to inform efforts to establish a regional fisheries compensatory mitigation fund administrator.
Comments to the RFI were due by February 7, 2023. The original Scoping Document – on which the RFI was based and that was originally released on December 2022 – has been updated based on the feedback received via the RFI.
A link to the Final Scoping Document can be found here.
A link to the cover letter for the Final Scoping Document can be found here.
A link to a summary of the comments received to the RFI can be found here.
A link to the full text of the comments received to the RFI can be found here.
Here is a link to the press release regarding the December 12 RFI release.
The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW), in collaboration with the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), has been convening and facilitating discussions on a regional approach to fisheries compensatory mitigation. SIOW and CBI will continue to support this critically important effort as consultation with the fishing and offshore wind development industries continues.
Support the development of a common and robust framework, methodology, criteria, and process for compensatory mitigation for fishermen that are consistent, equitable, and transparent. This approach will increase efficiency and coordination and reduce uncertainty for all sectors across offshore wind projects, states, and regions. This approach will also encourage offshore wind developers to design projects in such a way first to avoid potential impacts to fisheries, next attempt to minimize impacts, and then use mitigation as the final step in the process, with compensation for losses being utilized if other mitigation measures are exhausted.