The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released a report that says $3.8 million of the state’s fishing industry could possibly be impacted by an offshore wind industry, but it’s unlikely. That’s because $3 million of that sum is due to surf clams and ocean quahogs, which could easily be moved to other areas off the coast that would not be affected by wind turbines and construction.
Almost all of the other commercial fishing off the coast would either be impacted minimally by the part of the ocean defined as New Jersey’s Wind Energy Area or could be moved to another part of the ocean.
“The BOEM report shows that offshore wind is good for the Atlantic Coast because it will not hurt revenue for fisherman,” said Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “It is a win-win for our environment and our economy.” He notes that offshore wind has the potential to create “thousands of jobs along the coast, boosting local economies and green jobs.” Tittel, however, said that due to Christie administration delays, venture capitalists and other investors are setting their sights on other states, even though the New Jersey coast is best positioned for offshore wind.