November 19, 2015 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Thursday, November 19, 2015 – 4:00pm

Accounting for Commercial Fishing in Offshore Wind Planning

Alison Bates, Lecturer (Renewable Energy & Sustainability), Department of Environmental Conservation, U Mass Amherst

Location: Gunness Student Center Conference Room, Marcus Hall

A key component of offshore wind planning includes existing uses of the marine environment, in order to optimally site wind projects while minimizing conflicts. Commercial fisheries comprise an important stakeholder group, and may be one of the most impacted stakeholders from offshore renewable energy development. Concern of the fishing industry stems from possible interference with productive fishing grounds and access within wind developments resulting in costs from increased effort or reduction in catch. Success of offshore renewable energy development may in part depend on the acceptance of commercial fishers, who are concerned about loss of access to fishing grounds. Using a quantitative, economic-based marine spatial planning approach, a spatially-explicit representation of potential conflicts and compatibilities between offshore wind and commercial fishing was developed for the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Ultimately, this identifies locations where the industries are conflicting and where they are compatible. 

Alison is a Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass. Prior to coming to UMass, Alison taught courses in marine conservation and policy and climate change adaptation at Colby College. Her graduate work was conducted at the University of Delaware, with the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration. Her research examines the social, regulatory, and environmental implications of offshore energy, specifically looking at offshore wind power in the United States.  Alison earned her B.S. in Biology at William Smith College, and subsequently spent nearly a decade working in environmental conservation, leaving the NGO Southern California Mountains Foundation to pursue studies in ocean-based renewable energy.