Offshore wind energy: Impact on fisheries' catches and revenues

The expansion of wind farms reduces the space available for fishing, with a possible impact on catches and revenues for the fishing industry. Wageningen Marine Research is helping to map out these risks for the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Safety (LNV). We do this in cooperation with Wageningen Economic Research.

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Data collection and analysis of fishing grounds

To be able to measure and analyse the impact of wind farms on the fishing industry, catch data from individual fishers are combined with Vessel Monitoring through Satellite (VMS) data.

Every day, the catch per species and the number of hours spent at sea are registered in the logbooks of fishers. This information is passed on to the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA). The latter also collects data on the spatial use of the North Sea by ships via the VMS system, which regularly sends a ship's GPS position, speed and direction of travel to a satellite. Wageningen Marine Research receives and uses this data, with permission, for research purposes.

How are fisheries distributed across the North Sea?

By analysing the data, we know when and where a ship was fishing. By linking this information to logbook data with information about the catch, we get a clear picture of the distribution of fisheries in the North Sea. In this way, we can study the importance of specific areas for fishing.

This type of research is also used to determine the effects that fishing has on the ecosystem.

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