Argument: Wave power generators obstruct and are a hazard to fishers

Issue Report: Wave power


“Efforts to Harvest Ocean’s Energy Open New Debate Front”. Wave Power. 8 Dec. 2007 – “Opposition from fishermen who don’t want these million-dollar buoys in the middle of the ocean.”

“Off Oregon’s coast, wave power makes a splash”. Forecast Earth. 30 Sept. 2008 – “Linda Buell owns Garibaldi Charters with her husband, Mick, and co-chairs an advisory committee of fishing interests. She said she appreciates the early discussions with the developer but is concerned about potential conflicts.

At the Garibaldi site, the devices would lie in the middle of important chinook fisheries, she said, and at Netarts, in prime crabbing grounds.

‘They can’t just come in here and grab up fishing grounds without offering anything in return,’ Buell said.”

Maddalena Jackson. “Proposal to harness wind power off Mendocino coast worries fishing industry”. The Sacramento Bee. 11 Aug. 2008 – Others are wary. “When you first hear about it, you think, ‘That’s a great idea!’ ” said Jim Martin, director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance.

He’s concerned wave power may interfere with fisheries. He wonders if electrical signatures from the devices also might disturb fish.

His biggest complaint right now, however, is that local fishermen and residents have had no say in the planning.

Martin is also associated with Fishermen Interested in Safe Hydrokinetics, or FISH. With local lawyer Elizabeth Mitchell, FISH is battling for a role in the planning.

A federal deadline has passed for gaining an official voice in the legal planning for the wave projects, alongside PG&E and federal energy regulators.

Mitchell has filed a request for a belated entree with the Federal Electric Regulatory Commission. She argues that an isolated community, with limited high-speed Internet service, and few residents who even know what FERC is, could not have met the deadline.

Jim Martin. “Wave Energy Projects Threaten North Coast Fisheries”. West Coast Director, Recreational Fishing Alliance. 17 Nov. 2007 – Oregon’s Lincoln County Commissioner Terry Thompson spoke about the impacts to local fishermen, and how some areas off Oregon’s coast produce over $100,000 per square mile for the local economy every year. “The basic flaw in all this,” he said, “is when the power companies mark off a box and say, ‘this is ours.’ We believe there is a better process. There will be untold conflicts if you go on the way you are going. There are businesses out there already, fishermen who depend on these areas for their livelihoods.”