Re: “Washington’s moment to shine in offshore wind energy” [Nov. 22, Opinion]:
Port of Seattle Commissioner Ryan Calkins and Brandon Burke make their case for why Washington state should lead the way in the development of offshore wind energy here on the West Coast by fully leveraging Washington’s existing advantages to make this state “an offshore wind powerhouse.”
Often lost in the conversation about offshore wind energy is the adverse impact these industrial-size turbines can have on commercial fisheries. While it is encouraging the authors reference the need to accommodate ocean commerce by early engagement of key stakeholders, there needs to be a better understanding of how development will alter the physical, biological, economic and social dimensions of the marine environment before such development can proceed on a large scale.
The Washington commercial fishing industry stands willing to use our knowledge about ocean ecosystems to create effective solutions for climate and environmental change. There are opportunities for both the fishing industry and the offshore wind industry to succeed. However, offshore wind development is an ocean use that directly conflicts with fishing and primary food production, while imposing significant impacts on marine habitats and biodiversity.
Robert Kehoe, executive director, Purse Seine Vessel Owner’s Association, Seattle