The East Hampton Town Board voted last Thursday to issue a request for proposals for professional services to craft a fisheries mitigation and compensation plan that would be put to use should the construction and/or operation of an offshore wind farm negatively impact the commercial fishing industry.
Specifications are available at the town’s Purchasing Department office and can be collected there between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, beginning today. Proposals are due on Dec. 5.
Commercial fishermen have long voiced the concern that an offshore wind farm might disrupt their work by altering fish migration patterns, injuring or killing marine life, or posing a hazard to them and their equipment.
Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association and a candidate for town board, said on Tuesday that the fisheries advisory committee, of which she is a member, had not been notified prior to the resolution. She has long advocated development of such a plan, and the committee’s subcommittee on offshore wind had asked in May that the town seek a request for information. “The devil is in the details,” she said.
A fisheries monitoring and mitigation plan for East Hampton’s fisheries, according to the subcommittee’s request for information, “would include nearshore, inshore, and offshore fisheries, fishermen, and shoreside businesses that could be affected by offshore wind development.” It “would encompass not only the activities and fisheries within the town’s and state waters, but also the fisheries in offshore federal waters directly affected by any and all potential new infrastructure,” including impacts resulting from development of any New England and New York Bight wind energy areas.