At its Annual Meeting held on October 10, 2017, the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association's Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution expressing its opposition to the Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project which is proposed to be developed two miles south of Monhegan Island.
The resolution expresses the sentiment of the Fishermen's Association and its members that the project and the proposed landing of high voltage cables onshore in the Town of St. George, Maine would have detrimental impacts on the local fishing industry and the fishing community.
"Fishing has been the cornerstone of St. George for centuries," said Gerry Cushman, Chairman of the Fishermen's Association and fifth generation fisherman. "The Aqua Ventus project threatens lobstering and commercial fishing both now and for future generations of fishermen. Fishing is part of the fabric of Maine. We all need to do all we can to make certain that we preserve fishing as an opportunity for our children and our children's children."
Working waterfronts throughout the state of Maine are disappearing as development projects emphasize new and outside interests over those of traditional Maine industries and culture. Offshore wind is a new threat to fishing livelihoods as it has the potential to take away important fishing grounds that fishermen rely on to catch groundfish, scallops, lobster, and shrimp. While the Aqua Ventus project may be small in scale now, questions and deep concerns remain about the long-term ramifications of this shift in ocean and waterfront use.
Ben Martens, Executive Director added, "Fishermen throughout Maine are worried about the long-term impacts this project, and others like it, will have on Maine's fishing communities. We are working to preserve vibrant working waterfronts throughout Maine and stand in solidarity with the fishermen of St. George in opposition to this project."