The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Wind Developer to Pay $3.5M to R.I. Fishermen for Undersea Cables

PROVIDENCE – Initial tensions between Rhode Island fishermen and an offshore wind developer over the project’s cable burial plan have dissipated, eased by a $3.5 million compensation package.

The payment, as well as other mitigation efforts such as extra studies on how undersea cables impact native fish species, was incorporated into state coastal regulators’ Tuesday approval of the Revolution Wind cable burial plan. The R.I. Coastal Resources Management Council’s unanimous decision concludes a more than year-long saga of public hearings and private negotiations, focused largely on fishing industry concerns with the project.

Conflict between fishermen and offshore wind developers is not new; the groups have butted heads repeatedly as the massive wind farms work their way through federal and state reviews. That includes in Rhode Island, where the CRMC in 2021 signed off on another wind farm, South Fork Wind, over objections from fishing industry representatives.

While the process for leasing and reviewing major offshore wind turbines largely rests at the federal level, the CRMC through its Ocean Special Area Management Plan gets a say for wind farm projects within a certain distance of the state coastline.

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