Maine Wants Lobster Harvesters To Move Gear From Survey Path

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s marine resources commissioner has asked captains who fish along a planned wind turbine cable survey route to remove their fishing equipment from the route or Maine Patrol will move the equipment.

Commissioner Patrick Keliher sympathized with fishermen who are frustrated with the prospect of wind projects coming to the Gulf of Maine in the notice issued Wednesday, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The 12-megawatt test turbine is a collaborative effort between the University of Maine and New England Aqua Ventus and would be the first commercial-scale floating offshore project in the United States.

Keliher said that a recent survey found that there were fewer buoys found in the past day on the survey path than on Sunday.

Keliher said that there is still too much equipment on the survey path to complete the survey.

“The developer has committed to working with the department to ensure that fishing will be allowed around and over the cable route," Keliher wrote. “I hope that we can find a way forward to complete this survey and achieve that goal.”

In a statement to the Press Herald, Gov. Mills office said that the governor directed Keliher’s department to mediate.

“The governor firmly believes that offshore wind and fishing are not mutually exclusive,” the statement said. “and that this pilot project and the research accompanying it are vital in protecting the fishing industry as well as expanding the economic base of our coastal counties and reducing our dependency on expensive and harmful fossil fuels.”