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Marine Officials: No Violations Found In Dispute Between Lobstermen, Wind Developers

Sherrie Tucker
Courtesy Photo
A lobster boat at an offshore wind project protest off Boothbay Harbor on Sunday.

State marine regulators are providing an update on a dispute between fishermen and the developers of a wind energy project off Monhegan Island.

The flashpoint has been recent activity by a 150-foot vessel contracted by the developers, New England Aqua Ventus, to survey possible routes for a cable running between the project and the mainland.

Project officials said on Monday that fishermen appeared to be putting gear in the vessel’s way, bringing their boats too close, and thus forcing survey operations to be suspended. A statement by the Department of Marine Resources on Tuesday says that when state Marine Patrol officials radioed to fishing boat captains that they needed to stay a safe distance from the survey vessel, the captains complied.

DMR also says officers did not see direct interference with the vessel and saw no clear evidence that a significant amount of gear had been moved into the route. DMR says fishing activity does continue in the area and that there is still enough gear in the water to obstruct survey operations.

DMR says it is working with fishermen to clear a safe path.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.