Fisherman worried about 'unknown damage' from windfarm

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Fishermen in East Yorkshire have said plans to build an offshore windfarm could damage their livelihood.

The Crown Estate has secured plans to build an offshore windfarm in a lobster ground off Bridlington.

Tony Pockley, who has been fishing the area for 35 years, said building the windfarm would cause "unknown damage" to the fishery and his livelihood.

The Crown Estate said it was unable to change the agreed boundaries of the wind farm.

Mr Pockley said: "There are over 40 boats in Bridlington that rely on crabs and lobsters and if that fishery was damaged in any way Bridlington as a fishing port would cease to exist.

"It's not just the size of the windfarm, it's the transit routes, it's the process of building - all this has to be undertaken through our grounds which is going to cause unknown damage."

But Barry Dees from the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations said although the plans could have a huge impact on the fishery it was "very important" to understand that windfarms are just one issue.

'Constructive dialogue'

He said: "I think Crown Estates recognise that they need to do things differently and we're currently engaged at a national level in a mapping exercise that should make things better at that front.

"I think the big problem is not just the windfarms it's everything including the marine conservation zones that threaten to displace fishermen from customary fishing."

In a statement The Crown Estate said it "is constrained by Competition Law to adjust any site boundary changes post award".

"The time has passed for any opportunity to adjust the boundary without risking referral to the competition authorities.

"We strongly encourage the parties to engage in constructive dialogue to overcome this issue."

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