Vineyard Wind is poised to begin a survey of the Massachusetts fishing fleet in order to determine what types of radar various vessels have aboard. The survey is voluntary, according to Vineyard Wind spokesman Scott Farmelant.
The survey comes just weeks after The Times wrote about concerns raised by fishermen over the potential effects wind turbines have on radar and a federal task force that has been looking for solutions to lessen radar interference from turbines with minimal success.
“Vineyard Wind is preparing to undertake a survey of [Massachusetts] fishing vessel owners (voluntary) to ascertain differences in radar system use,” Farmelant emailed. “This effort is expected to help inform the project team’s responses to assertions/concerns aired by fishing representatives about wind turbine generators possibly affecting their onboard radar systems.”
Asked if the U.S. Coast Guard was associated with the survey, Farmelant said it isn’t at present.
“The survey will be conducted independently of the U.S. Coast Guard, though the project is happy to collaborate with them and will share the results publicly with all relevant federal and state agencies.”
Crista Bank, Vineyard Wind’s liaison with fishermen, kicked off the process by creating an informal “pilot” survey sample and sharing this with a small group of fishing representatives for their feedback, Farmelant wrote. “The initial subjects for questions include types of radar systems that are used by vessels, the age of various systems, typical operational issues (i.e., non-OSW related issues, including effectiveness, range, limitations, etc.) and the like,” he wrote. “Based on fishermen feedback from this pilot, Vineyard Wind will create a final survey and broadly distribute it to fishing boat owners and operators through all available channels.”