Wind farms and the fishing industry want to use the same space at sea, something that is not yet possible with current knowledge. The government is looking for ways to facilitate a form of fishing in and around wind farms, and Wageningen Marine Research contributes to this with applied, targeted research.
Combining fisheries and wind farms
Wind farms in the North Sea are necessary to achieve the Dutch government's climate and energy targets. At the same time, fishermen see their access to fishing grounds reduced by these wind farms, leading to discontent within the fishing community. In order to bring these opposing interests closer together, the government aims to combine multiple user functions within wind farms. Fishing and aquaculture are increasingly mentioned.
Pilot with lobster and brown crab
The 'Win-Wind' consortium deals with precisely these issues. To investigate the possibilities for multi-use of wind farms, Win-Wind started a research and test pilot with lobster and brown crab fishing in the North Sea. Wageningen Marine Research and Wageningen Economic Research are part of this consortium and support this demonstration project from their own expertise. This includes research into the ecological aspects of lobster and crab fishing, market opportunities for this type of food products, and reducing operational risks when fishing in a wind farm.
The research thus contributes to the realisation of commercial, sustainable food production within wind farms. Moreover, the scientifically substantiated results of this pilot project will offer perspectives for the shared use of wind farms in the Netherlands and the rest of the world, as these types of issues will increasingly emerge.
The Win-Wind consortium consists of Wageningen Marine Research and Wageningen Economic Research, and a fishing cluster of Cramer Noordwijk BV, Noordzee Charters and Rederij W. van der Zwan & Zn. BV.
This Win-Wind project has partially been made possible by Top Consortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI) Wind op Zee.
Earlier research into lobster and brown crab fishing was partially made possible by investments from the European Fisheries Fund and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.