Fisheries Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy

Find information about the Fisheries Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy administered by the the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
NOTE: The next meeting of the Fisheries Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy will be held on May 10 from 9:30-12:30 at UMass Dartmouth SMAST in New Bedford. Agenda and meeting logistics will be posted here soon.

Offshore wind energy is the largest ocean-based renewable energy resource in Massachusetts and significant progress has been made on the planning, siting, analysis, and leasing for potential offshore wind energy projects in federal waters off the Commonwealth. In federal waters, the leasing of the Outer Continental Shelf for renewable energy is the authority of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Since 2009, Massachusetts has been working closely with BOEM, participating on an Intergovernmental Task Force comprised of federal, state, tribal, and local agency representatives and elected officials. For more information, see the BOEM Renewable Energy web page and the BOEM Massachusetts Activities web page.

To augment the Intergovernmental Task Force process and engage directly with key stakeholders, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) convened two working groups for fisheries and marine habitat issues. While the working groups are voluntary and informal, they provide a critically important forum for maintaining a dialogue with key stakeholders, getting their feedback and guidance, and identifying issues and concerns. Input from the working groups has directly resulted in accommodations to avoid important marine habitat, fishing grounds, and marine commerce routes in the designation of the wind energy lease areas. The working groups will continue to provide valuable advice as leaseholders proceed through the next phases of the BOEM wind energy commercial leasing process, including site assessments, environmental and technical reviews, and development of construction and operations plans.

Participants

The Fisheries Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy is comprised of commercial fishermen and representatives from different ports and sectors, recreational fishermen, scientists, and state and federal agencies. Past and present participants have included commercial and recreational fisherman based in Massachusetts ports including Boston, Gloucester, Provincetown, Scituate, and New Bedford, and representatives of the following organizations and government agencies:

Organizations

Cape Cod Charter Boat Association
Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance
Coonamesett Farm Foundation
Fisheries Survival Fund
Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association
Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust
Massachusetts Bays National Estuary Partnership
Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant
Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association
New England Fisheries Management Council
Northeast Seafood Coalition
Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems
Recreational Fishing Alliance
Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative
RENEW Northeast, Inc.
Responsible Offshore Development Alliance
Responsible Offshore Science Alliance
UMass School of Marine Science and Technology

Agencies

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Office of Renewable Energy Programs
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries
New Bedford Port Authority
NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office
NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Coastal Zone Management
U.S. Coast Guard

Developers and contractors

Avangrid Renewables
Equinor
Orsted
Outer Harbor Consulting
Sea Risk Solutions
SouthCoast Wind
Vineyard Offshore

Meetings

Meetings of the Fisheries Working Group on Offshore Wind Energy are generally convened at certain benchmark points in the wind energy commercial leasing process.

Next meeting

May 10, 2024 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in person at UMass Dartmouth SMAST in New Bedford

Upcoming meetings

July 19, 2024 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., virtual

October 18,2024 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., in person in Gloucester

Past meetings

February 9, 2024

January 26, 2023

  • Agenda: Special meeting with Vineyard Wind 1 on fisheries mitigation program process.
  • Program Description (PDF, 386 KB)

December 15, 2023

September 29, 2023

June 23, 2023

March 31, 2023

January 20, 2023

October 14, 2022

May 24, 2022

March 2, 2022 

December 10, 2021

September 23, 2021

June 14, 2021

March 31, 2021

November 22, 2019

May 16, 2019

March 29, 2019

September 20, 2018

September 6, 2018

June 18, 2018

May 7, 2018

February 12, 2018

May 17, 2017

June 28, 2016

March 9, 2016

November 2, 2015

April 30, 2015

June 24, 2014

November 14, 2012

February 13, 2012

September 20, 2011

June 10, 2011

May 2, 2011

April 12, 2011

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