Commercial Fisheries Assessment for the Navitus Bay Wind Park

The proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park development would be established in an area that supports a range of commercial and recreational fisheries. The construction and operation of the wind park may impact existing fishing grounds, influencing the operational patterns of vessels, that historically obtain economic benefits from the fishing grounds. Understanding the temporal and spatial patterns of vessels with some degree of reliance on the grounds within the wind park and cable route areas is key to identifying and quantifying the effect Navitus Bay would have on commercial fisheries and charter angling operations. MEP undertook an analysis of landings data, conducted interviews with fishing business owners in the study area and held two workshops with fisheries stakeholders to validate findings. This innovative approach to involving the fishing industry in the characterisation of fishing activity, has resulted in a comprehensive understanding of the fishing activity in the study area. This understanding has enabled a thorough impact assessment to be developed, supported by an equitable mitigation plan, to be included in the Navitus Bay Environmental Statement.