A success for Catherine Chabaud and the planet
Last week, the Committee on Fisheries adopted by a large majority the opinion "Exploiting the potential of offshore renewable energies", drafted by our French MEP Catherine Chabaud (MoDem). The opinion aims to further the exploration of the impact of offshore energies on the fisheries sector.
This underlines the importance of this issue for the shift towards a green economy - renewable offshore energy contributes to achieving the goal of CO2 neutrality. The European Commission calls for a thirty-fold increase in green offshore energy capacity by 2050. This would boost the sector, which the French MEP welcomes.
Nevertheless, we must not lose sight of the impact of offshore energy on the fisheries and aquaculture sector, for example in terms of displacement of fishing grounds or underwater noise. Faced with this, Catherine Chabaud is nevertheless convinced that solutions exist - in her statement, she underlines the importance of dialogue and cooperation with fishermen in the planning of these projects - especially at an early planning stage, in order to avoid negative effects on the sector as much as possible and to allow a harmonious coexistence of the sectors.
In order to avoid negative effects on biodiversity, the construction of offshore facilities needs to be reconsidered. These renewable energy sources are only relevant if their impacts can be kept low. For this, risks must be transformed into opportunities for other activities by seeking mutual environmental, social, and economic benefits. For example, building a facility with a positive impact on fish stocks by creating a coral reef, or contributing to studying the sea by collecting data thanks to the sensors installed on wind turbines, or the creation of jobs, especially in modernising fishing ports.
According to Catherine Chabaud, it is necessary to have a long-term view of green offshore projects in order to better assess the impact on other activities, such as fishing, as well as on the local population and ecosystems. She therefore calls for an approach based on a circular economy and the life cycle of these projects, especially for the period when the wind farm is being phased out.
Offshore energy is particularly important in the context of a sustainable "blue" economy. However, this must be done with consideration for other activities, such as fisheries and aquaculture, with the aim of achieving sustainability by seeking mutual benefit.
Proud of the adoption of my opinion on offshore renewables in PECH Committee 🌊— Catherine Chabaud (@CathChabaud) June 16, 2021
✅Reducing impacts on biodiversity and fisheries
✅Favouring co-benefits (as showed by Lacroix/Pioch ⤵️)
✅Supporting research and circular economy pic.twitter.com/dY7hXfnP8U