SFF Holds Exploratory Talks with Moray Firth OWF Developers

White fish trawler fishing in the North Sea  - 2007

The Scottish Fishermen’s Federation has held exploratory talks (26 March) with Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd (MORL) to develop mitigation strategies for the first phase of a development proposal for a major offshore windfarm in the Moray Firth.

These initial discussions focused on early engagement plans with the Scottish fishing industry to explore practical co-existence and mitigation options so as to keep to an absolute minimum any impact the new development may have on the activities of fishermen. Amore formal meeting will be held between the SFF and MORL on 18th April to discuss these mitigation options in more detail.

MORL is an umbrella development company set up EDP Renovaveis (EDPR) and Repsol to develop a windfarm on the Smith Bank in the Moray Firth, approximately 22km from the coast. The development will be split into two phases. There are elements of the strategy that fall within the remit of the Moray Firth Commercial Fisheries Working Group, which is being set up in collaboration with Beatrice Offshore Wind Ltd.

Bertie Armstrong, chief executive of the SFF said: “There is a real surge of offshore renewable energy projects now taking place off many parts of the Scottish coast, and was well as the local impact the SFF is also concerned about the cumulative effects such developments may have on the fishing industry.

It is absolutely essential that such developments do not impact upon the traditional fishing activities of the Scottish fleet, which provides a vitally important and sustainable food resource for both domestic consumption and for export markets. We welcome the commitment by MORL to engage in open and transparent discussions to ensure the development of proper mitigation measures.

Press Release, April 2, 2013