WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / April 8, 2019 / Today, the Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA) launches.
After many years of discussion and recognition of the need for a regional science body to address fisheries and wind development, ROSA has formed. It will provide for and advance regional research and monitoring of fisheries and offshore wind interactions in federal waters. It is a collaborative effort among fishing industry representatives, offshore wind developers, and state and federal government agencies.
ROSA's goals are to collect and disseminate salient and credible data on fisheries and wind development, and to increase the understanding of the effects and potential impacts of wind energy development on fisheries and the ocean ecosystems on which they depend. It will further seek to address broader aspects of the ocean environment that offshore fisheries and wind energy activities occupy, including pre-facility baseline activity and resource status, ecosystem-based fishery management, socioeconomic effects, cumulative impacts, and other relevant science. It will be structured with an Executive Council, Research Council, and topic-and geographic specific subcommittees comprised of scientific and technical experts of diverse affiliations.
The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) was a key partner in forming ROSA, and will ensure continual, comprehensive fishing industry representation in ROSA's efforts.
"So much is poorly understood regarding the impacts of large-scale offshore wind energy development to fisheries and fish stocks, and studies that have been performed lack regional coordination," said Annie Hawkins, Executive Director of RODA. "This forum will be immensely helpful to the fishing industry so that it may provide leadership in study prioritization, methodology, and execution through cooperative research."
NOAA Fisheries supports the development of a regional science and monitoring framework through ROSA. As the federal agency charged with stewardship of living marine resources, including fisheries and associated fishing communities, NOAA also has an interest in the responsible planning, siting, and evaluation of offshore wind power activities. "America's offshore wind energy future is dependent on scientists, fishermen, and energy officials uniting under a common goal: safeguarding our invaluable marine resources," said Chris Oliver, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries. "NOAA Fisheries is pleased to be a part of this scientific endeavor to ensure our fisheries and fishing communities continue to thrive."
Several developers including EDF Renewables, Ørsted, Shell New Energies, and Equinor Wind US have expressed support for ROSA.
"ROSA's research and monitoring efforts will provide a collaborative approach to science in order to facilitate successful dialogue between the growing offshore wind industry and our long-standing fishing community," said CEO of Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind and President of Ørsted North America Thomas Brostrøm. "As the first offshore wind developer to partner with RODA, Ørsted believes in the need to strengthen dialogue in the communities where we work and deepen our understanding of the marine environment down the North American East Coast."
"EDF Renewables is in full support of efforts to deepen the understanding of the effects of offshore wind development," said Chris Hart, Head of U.S. Offshore Wind for EDF Renewables. "The ocean ecosystem and fisheries are of paramount importance as we move forward to build an energy industry in our oceans. ROSA, through a research-based approach will provide credible data to inform decisions and importantly the research will be cooperative bringing together the various stakeholders along with scientific and technical experts."
"Offshore wind is one of the newest and fastest growing industries within the U.S., and as projects progress, it will be important to understand any potential cumulative impacts to ensure offshore wind projects effectively co-exist with the marine environment," said John Hartnett, Shell Business Opportunity Manager for U.S. offshore wind. "We believe this collaboration with some of the industry's key players will help to bolster research and monitoring efforts, which will ultimately allow us to make more informed decisions as we seek to responsibly develop our projects."
ROSA's funding is derived from annual contributors, including wind energy lease holders, with support from federal and state partners and other contributors interested in advancing ROSA's mission. More information about ROSA can be found here. To inquire about becoming a ROSA supporter, please contact: [email protected].
Executive Director, RODA
SOURCE: Responsible Offshore Science Alliance