If Offshore wind farm companies want the commercial fishing industry to support the construction of massive wind farms on their long time historical fishing grounds, then those companies must offer a vessel buy out option to fishermen before they are put out of business by these same wind developers. Commercial fishermen have become the new Native Americans, pushed off of their long time fishing grounds by multinational corporate invaders. Just like our government allowed the Soviet Union to rape the richest fisheries in the world on Georges Bank, our government is now allowing new foreign investors posing as environmental saviors to simply come in and force the local fishermen to abandon their historic fishing grounds in their wake. Slowly but surely, just as the US justified its genocide of the native Indian population by the term Manifest Destiny, Commercial fishermen are facing the same fate as our native Americans by the Green New Deal. To be driven to extinction, by promises and lies on top of deceptions and soon the loss of their fishing grounds. History is repeating itself, and the weaker will fall prey to the stronger. Commercial fishermen have no political power, their greatest strength is their independence, which is also their fatal flaw. Fishermen are fishermen because they want to be, they like being at sea away from the BS of ordinary life, part of their job should include caring about their industry, but it doesn’t. Somebody else can do that. And that in a nut shell is why these foreign companies can run roughshod over the oldest industry in the country.


The problem the Indians had is that they did not believe anybody could own land, which made it easy to chase and bully them off of the land they had lived on for centuries, while promising them a better future at some other location. That is now the same problem that the US fishing industry faces, they are being chased away from historic fishing grounds by a larger, more powerful invader intent on taking over all of the prime ocean bottom on the continental shelf, fishing industry and marine environment be damned. When European settlers came to America they sold and divided property, anybody could buy land, as long as they could afford to buy it. That’s exactly how it still is, anybody can own the land. But nobody has ever owned the ocean, beyond a country’s territorial rights, so fishermen fishing the same grounds for generations and generations have never been allowed to buy that ocean acreage. Our multi-generational lifetimes on the ocean apparently mean nothing to the US government, or foreign windmill companies. We are just in the way of progress. Fishermen do not own the ocean, because they were never allowed to buy the ocean, but some multinational con men can come waving wads of money around and our leaders bend over backwards to help them along with their scheme, knowing full well that we will all pay through higher electricity rates.


We are going to create thousands of good paying union jobs they claim, while most of the windmills are built in Europe and just shipped here for assembly. Believe me the windfarm companies know they are killing the fishing industry, and it is their intention to completely ignore any of our
complaints, because that is what they did in Europe. [Where by the way those Northern country’s that heavily invested in offshore wind now have the most expensive electricity in the developed world, excluding islands]. I don’t know if anybody in our present government cares about the fate of the East Coast fishing industry, we have been so villainized by the environmental industry over the last few decades. But some in our government did care a little about the fate of the Indians from which they stole their land and lives, and gave them their own land. They attempted to address the horrible fate they inflicted on the native Americans. Fishermen have been offered nothing. Except the loss of historic fishing grounds that are vital to their survival. So those thousands of good paying union jobs being promised? They are negated by the destruction of the commercial fishing industry and its related infrastructure. For each commercial fisherman there are 6 to 7 other people employed down the supply line. The windfarms will eventually destroy some communities that are dependent on fishing, and after the true cost of the electric produced by these wind factories is passed on to the ratepayers, they will all flee. Many are already doing that because of high taxes, just wait a few years because offshore wind is the biggest tax increase in history.


While the Biden administration is busy throwing billions of dollars to people who aren’t even citizens, how about throwing a few billion to the commercial fishermen that your green new deal is about to destroy. If multi national corporations are allowed to just prance right into our territorial
waters and take them over from the local fishermen leaving them bankrupt and out of work, then the federal government ought to own up to the damage it is creating to the fishing industry and create a voluntary buy out program, jointly financed by them and of course the Windmill companies including their investors. Vessel buy out programs have been used in the North east before, about 20 years ago there was a 300 million dollar buy out of groundfish vessels, so it can be done. The full of Wind companies will argue that there are still plenty of places for fishermen to fish but even the most intellectually challenged person would have to admit after looking at a chart showing the size and locations of the proposed farms that there will not be much fishing grounds left. That means that fishermen will all be forced into a few postage stamp sized areas and fight it out to make a tow, leading to loss of income to all and eventually bankruptcy of the fleet. By creating a voluntary buy out program, fishermen can opt to sell their vessel and permits to whatever sponsoring group is in charge of the program, and at least have something besides bankruptcy to show for their generations of work feeding our nation. The vessel and permits will be permanently retired thus reducing the amount of effort that can be put into the remaining fishing grounds. Meanwhile those that choose to remain would be the beneficiaries of reduced competition and would probably see a more profitable industry because of less competition to catch the limited quota’s.


How do you figure out a number to purchase a vessel? Pretty simple, take the average gross stock of the vessel for the last 5 year period and times it by 7 years. If a vessel averaged 500,000 dollars worth of fish each year over five years, then the buy out cost of that vessel would be $3,500,000. That
money would be as a grant and not taxable. First priorities would be the vessels most impacted by certain wind farm sites. Trawlers will be the most impacted long term because the ocean floor will be littered with millions of tons of rock spread around each base to reduce scouring, making many areas impossible for trawlers to ever fish in again with a bottom trawl. Clam and scallop vessels will also be denied admittance into these farm areas, and the wild card in all this is how will fishery populations react to an environment totally changed from just a few years ago, with unprecedented noise pollution from decades of construction and then decommissioning/removal. What fish will adapt and which won’t? What is the fate of the Northern Right Whale, and Fin Whale, it seems nobody at BOEM [Bureau of Ocean Energy Manglement] cares. Nor do any of the so called environmental activists who claim to want to save the ocean but don’t care that the Northern Right Whale is in a death spiral with most of
the mortalities coming from ship strikes, coincidentally the Right whales will be forced into the shipping lanes, because they will be the only paths not covered with windmills, leading to higher ship strike mortality.


The US fishing industry doesn’t need any more useless meetings with wind company representatives or BOEM. They need to be recognized as the victims of an unprecedented land steal by the multi-national Wind companies and be rightly compensated for the enormous loss they are about to suffer. We don’t need anymore promises of a beautiful future where fishermen live in harmony with giant foreign wind towers , we need fair treatment as the aggrieved party.

Jim Lovgren