Call to Action: Angler Engagement with Offshore Wind Developers

by Capt. Paul Eidman, Board member & Forage Fish Committee Chairman
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association September 2019 Newsletter)

Below is letter sent to the editor at the Asbury Park Press, which is running a cover story called, “An ill wind Blows” in which one-sided opinions of the commercial fishing sector are spoon fed to the public while those of the recreational fishing community are disregarded.

Dear Editor,

This weekend’s feature article, “An Ill Wind Blows,” missed a critical part of the offshore wind power conversation, and that is the engagement of recreational anglers. America’s first five offshore wind turbines have been operating off of Block Island, Rhode Island since 2016. I’ve fished the turbines twice, catching fluke, black sea bass, and porgies. The underwater turbine structures are acting as artificial reefs, attracting fish of all kinds from the bottom up, and Block Island-based charter captains are saying the fishing is getting better every day and has increased business.

To support offshore wind power, recreational anglers must be able to pull right up to the foundations and cast – something the Coast Guard has assured the public will be true. There is still much to learn about how large-scale development will impact fisheries, which is why developers must monitor fisheries before, during and after construction. Anglers must also be at the table to provide input on turbine siting and other issues.

While environmentalists and anglers have different definitions of responsible offshore wind development, climate change is a massive threat that is causing fish distributions to change and threatening marine mammals and other wildlife. That is why we need to work with developers and state and federal agencies so offshore wind power works for us. Offshore wind development will create clean energy where it is needed, boost the local economy, and, if done right, make recreational fishing better – all three things we can all get behind.

Capt. Paul is on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Please find, follow and share posts. Also look for: Menhaden Defenders, River Herring Rescue, Reel Therapy Fishing Charters, Anglers Conservation Network, and Anglers for Offshore Wind Power. Email him at directly at

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