On 10 May 2022, the North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) and the Pelagic Advisory Council (PelAC) organised a workshop on the impacts of seismic and offshore wind energy developments on commercial fisheries. This workshop, which is a milestone in the work on the topic launched by the two Advisory Councils in 2020, gathered expert speakers from the European Commission, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the European Marine Board. The report from this workshop is now published on the NWWAC and PelAC websites.
The report provides a very good overview of the existing research on seismic activity, on the impact on fish stocks and more generally on underwater noise. It also identifies knowledge gaps and research avenues to better understand and mitigate noise impacts on ecosystems as well as to provide solutions regarding the impacts on fisheries activities.
Emiel Brouckaert, Chair of the NWWAC, underlined that “in light of the war in Ukraine and the subsequent and ongoing energy crisis, emphasis is being placed on the expansion of renewable energy sources and many Member States are looking specifically to offshore wind energy to achieve and even surpass the targets set under the Green Deal. This will have impacts on the marine environment and its existing users. While trying to reconcile multiple crisis circumstances, the production of aquatic protein and the contribution of the fisheries sector to the EU’s food security should not be left out.”
Gonçalo Carvalho, Vice-Chair of the PelAC and Chair of the PelAC-NWWAC Advice Drafting Group on the matter, emphasized that “more research on population and ecosystem impacts of underwater noise must be undertaken as well as regarding the implementation of mitigation measures.” He added “while the urgency is there for the development of offshore wind farms, the precautionary approach must be respected and the integration of existing uses and known impacts needs to happen.”
Based on the key expert knowledge presented during this workshop, the NWWAC and PelAC will continue their joint work on the impacts of seismic and offshore wind energy developments on commercial fisheries, bringing different perspectives together and aiming at delivering advice to the European Commission focusing on research priorities in this regard.
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Link to the workshop agenda: https://www.nwwac.org/_fileupload/Meetings%20documents/Year%2017/Seismic%20offshore%20wind%20workshop%20May%202022/EN_Draft_Agenda_Seismic_Wind_Workshop_2022.PNG
Link to the report in English: https://www.nwwac.org/publications/report-from-the-nwwacpelac-workshop-on-the-impacts-of-seismic-and-offshore-wind-energy-developments-on-commercial-fisheries.3896.html
Link to the report in French: https://www.nwwac.org/avis-et-publications/rapport-de-latelier-cc-eospelac-sur-les-impacts-des-d%c3%a9veloppements-sismiques-et-%c3%a9oliens-offshore-sur-la-p%c3%aache-commerciale.3897.html
Link to the report in Spanish: https://www.nwwac.org/publicaciones-y-dict%c3%a1menes/informe-del-taller-cc-anocpelac-sobre-los-impactos-de-los-desarrollos-s%c3%adsmicos-y-de-energ%c3%ada-e%c3%b3lica-marina-en-la-pesca-comercial.3898.html
Notes to editors
The North Western Waters Advisory Council (NWWAC) is one of 11 fisheries Advisory Councils across Europe, generating multi-stakeholder advice to feed into the European Commission and Member States on key fisheries policy developments affecting their area of competence. NWWAC advice focuses on matters related to EU fisheries management and ecosystem considerations in the Irish Sea, the Celtic Seas and the Channel.
NWWAC website: https://www.nwwac.org/english
NWWAC Secretariat contact: Mo Mathies | email@example.com | T: +353 1 2144 143 |
M: +353 87 238 2136
The Pelagic Advisory Council (PelAC) is one of the 11 Advisory Councils for fisheries in the European Union, established following the 2002 review of the Common Fisheries Policy. It engages with a wide range of stakeholders to offer credible, scientific, and consensus-based advice to the European Commission and relevant EU Member States on the management of pelagic fisheries. Its work covers pelagic stocks across all European sea-basins, excluding those in the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea.
PelAC website: https://www.pelagic-ac.org/
PelAC Secretariat contact: Julie Aleksandrova | firstname.lastname@example.org | M : +32 490 44 18 33