Can Commercial Fishing Co-Exist with Offshore Wind? Risks and Risk Perceptions (2019)

Thomas Sproul, Associate Professor of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

The development of offshore wind farms is increasing rapidly, but formal analyses on the risks that this development may have for the commercial fishing industries have been scarce. Furthermore, five recently installed wind turbines off the shore of Block Island, Rhode Island, have caused navigational safety concerns in the surrounding commercial fishing community. Evaluating these concerns is challenging because of the multi-dimensionality of risk perception and the novelty of offshore wind turbines. Dr. Thomas Sproul (Environmental and Natural Resource Economics) and a SSIREP funded post-doctoral associate are assessing how much these stated risk perceptions reflect the assessments of risk factors through the administering of a survey to commercial fishers before and after the construction of more than 80 turbines being installed off Rhode Island as part of “Vineyard Wind.”