Fishing group urges BOEM to halt Oregon offshore wind auction

A leading body for the US Pacific fishing industry has urged the federal government to call off its proposed auction for offshore wind off the coast of Oregon.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council passed a resolution at its latest meeting on 10 March to recommend that the federal Bureau of Land Management restart the process for identifying suitable areas for installing offshore wind turbines to account for the needs of the fishing industry.

In the resolution, the group specified restarting the leasing process for waters 19km or more from the shore and in waters 1,300 metres deep or more.

In April 2022, the BOEM announced a call for information and nominations for two offshore wind areas covering more than 4,653km2 located 19km off the Oregon coast.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council’s recommendation comes amid pushback from other stakeholders. Republicans recently called for public hearings and a moratorium on offshore wind because of whale deaths. The US’s largest lobbying group for Native Americans called for a halt to all offshore wind scoping and permitting. Meanwhile, fishing groups and local residents have filed about five lawsuits against proposed or under-construction wind projects off the US north-east.

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