RI Fishermen, Scientists Study Impact Of Offshore Wind Farm On Fisheries

img_3713Every month for the past four and a half years, Captain Rodman Sykes has sailed out toward the Block Island Sound with his crew and a small group of scientists. They tow a fish net and scrape the seafloor twice in three different locations: within the area of the Block Island Wind Farm and in areas close to it for reference. “Mostly skates, there’s a sea bass and a few small scup, sea robins, dog fish,” Sykes says aloud as he stands over the fish to inspect them each time his crew brings up the net and releases the catch. “Not much else, but a good sample. So we’ll go on to the next station.” While Sykes redirects his vessel to the next sampling area, scientists get right to work: sorting fish by species, taking their weight, and measuring their length. Together these scientists and fishermen make up the research team hired by Deepwater Wind to collect data to understand the wind farm’s impacts to fish and shellfish. Sykes says at first that didn’t sit well with a small group of fishermen. “I had guys question me about ‘why are you working for the wind farm?’” recalls Sykes. “I told them, ‘I am not working for the wind farm, I am working for the fishing community.’” Read the story here 10:40