NOAA Fisheries & BOEM Sign MOU on Offshore Wind Energy

The 10-year MOU outlines several areas of mutual interest including responsible planning and siting of turbine arrays, development of sites of offshore wind power and to work with local and regional fishing interests.

NOAA BOEM Offshore Wind

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), and the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) signed a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding that brings local and regional fishing interests together with federal regulators to collaborate on the science and process of offshore wind energy development on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.

“Any development on the Outer Continental Shelf must consider how these activities can affect current ocean users and the marine environment,” said BOEM Acting Director Walter Cruickshank. “That is why working with federal, state, and local agencies, fishing communities, and the public is such an essential part of our renewable energy program. We look forward to working with NOAA and RODA through early and constant communication to ensure that the most recent information is available to decision makers.”

“With wind energy developing in the New England/Mid-Atlantic region, this collaboration comes at a crucial time,” said Chris Oliver, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, the primary federal agency charged with sustaining U.S. marine resources and habitats. “This Memorandum of Understanding will help achieve NOAA Fisheries’ strategic national goal of maximising fishing opportunities while supporting responsible resource development.”

RODA, which is a broad membership-based coalition of fishing industry associations and fishing companies, will work with NOAA Fisheries and BOEM to compile, develop, and deliver the best available scientific products and information necessary to address offshore development, fisheries management, and ecosystem health.

“The fishing industry has expressed its concern about the potential impacts of rapid large-scale wind energy development to coastal communities and sustainable fishing practices,” said Annie Hawkins, executive director of RODA. “This agreement paves a way forward for fishing communities to give meaningful input to federal regulators in determining the future of our ocean resources.”

Working together to engage local and regional fishing interests early and often throughout the offshore wind development processes will help develop a collaborative regional research and monitoring program and lead to scientifically sound decisions.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for