Wednesday, August 14, 2019

ASA Outlines Offshore Wind Energy Priorities

Alexandria, VA –The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has announced the recreational fishing industry’s position regarding offshore wind energy (OWE) expansion along the Atlantic coast.

ASA wants to make sure the industry’s voice is heard when OWE polices and developments are under consideration. The position statement represents a commitment by ASA to engage on OWE projects in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions as well as others as development continues. This statement outlines four major areas of consideration such as access, mitigation, management and economic impacts to fisheries.

“With increased attention on renewable energy, there has been a rapid expansion in proposed OWE projects,” said ASA’s Atlantic Fisheries Policy Director Mike Waine. “With thousands of square miles of ocean ready for development, we must make sure that potential impacts on recreational fishing are accounted for to keep fishing opportunities open to American anglers. Our position statement outlines major topics important to the sportfishing industry such as access, science-based management and impacts to local fishing economies.”

As the nation’s sportfishing trade association, ASA understands the importance of reliable and affordable energy solutions and the need for fisheries to coexist with OWE development goals.

Block Island Wind Farm off Rhode Island’s coast is currently the only OWE project in operation on the U.S. East coast. Planning for future production is rapidly increasing with 15 leases currently issued by the Bureau for Ocean Energy Management which is the federal agency responsible for overseeing these projects. The current leases range from Massachusetts to North Carolina, and the permitting process involves both federal and state review.

“ASA is committed to working with the developers as well as federal and state agencies to provide our input throughout the process,” said Waine.

The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America's 49 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation's waterways through Keep America Fishing, our national angler advocacy campaign. America's anglers generate nearly $50 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for 800,000 people.