SOUTH KINGSTOWN â€“ Due to the efforts of state Senator Susan Sosnowski, fisherman will now be able to offer input into the development of offshore energy projects with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEMRE).
The state senate recently passed Sosnowskiâ€™s, D-South Kingstown, New Shoreham, resolution in which she requested BOEMRE to include official representation of offshore fishermen on the Rhode Island Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force.
â€śOffshore fishermen should certainly be included on a task force that is making decisions that could affect their livelihoods,â€ť Sosnowski said. â€śThis will provide many opportunities for them to participate in all review and permitting phases of offshore renewable energy projects and outline how, exactly, these projects could affect the fishing industry in the state.â€ť
Sosnowski said the resolution was a result of a senate task force on fisheries last December, in which several fishermen voiced their concerns that they would not be included in discussions on offshore wind projects. They also raised the concern about the potential impact the development of offshore wind projects could have on the fishing industry and fish resources.
â€śThe fisherman will be able to guide the Bureau as it goes through the process and could provide scientific findings. They could help guide them in putting the wind farm in the right place and not hamper the population of almost 30 different species of fish,â€ť Sosnowski said.
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