The leadership of the commercial fishing industry, including many of Fishermen’s current sponsors, in 2003 opposed offshore wind farms, which at that time were proposed with a lack of public input in their design, deployment, and operation.
Starting in late 2005, leaders of the fishing industry of New Jersey quietly began an analysis and review of their previous opposition to offshore wind power, determined that society needed to respond to changes in energy policy, and they could either be victims of that change or agents of change. They concluded quickly that offshore wind energy has the potential to bring significant energy to the public, and with continued public support will likely be built in large scale projects. Fishermen's Energy was founded in 2007 to present a progressive, constructive program for alternative uses of the state and federal waters in the Northeast that these companies have fished for decades – and in particular, to pursue the development of what may be the first offshore wind farms in the United States.
In addition to their significant capital base, Fishermen's Energy principals own and operate dozens of large, deep-water offshore vessels as well as shore-side and dock facilities along the East Coast from Massachusetts to Virginia. They also have decades of experience financing and building expensive infrastructure, operating complex equipment on the water surface, in the water column and on the sea-bottom, and training, managing, motivating, and supporting hard-working people in the harsh conditions and extreme seasonality of the offshore marine environment. Fishermen's Energy has taken the leadership role to build a new offshore energy industry, incorporating the exceptional maritime capabilities and skills, facilities, capital resources and interests of the commercial fishing industry.
Fishermen's Energy has assembled a world class team of professionals, including European consulting engineers experienced in the design and construction of offshore wind farms. In response to a Solicitation from the State of New Jersey, Fishermen's Energy submitted in 2008 a two-phase proposal to build 350 MW of wind energy capacity off the coast of New Jersey. Fishermen's Energy has taken the leadership role to build a new offshore energy industry while incorporating the exceptional maritime capabilities and skills, facilities, capital resources and interests of the commercial fishing industry. The Fishermen's Energy approach enables a new offshore energy producing industry to depend upon safe operations in the harsh ocean conditions and often extreme weather conditions of the waters off the U.S. East Coast, benefitting from the decades of maritime experience of the commercial fishing industry.
Our core business model and initial organizational values espouse a new paradigm for Offshore Wind Energy:
- Smart facility siting with a view towards minimizing impacts to fishermen and fishing communities while maximizing offshore energy production, serviceability, and maritime safety
- Enabling members of the local and East Coast commercial fishing industry to invest directly in offshore wind development
- Creating profit for local businesses capable of serving as vendors, both land-based and water-based
- Creating green jobs for those experienced fishermen, captains and seamen who desire to transition from commercial fishing to construction and support operations associated with offshore wind
- Contributing to fisheries science in collaboration with academic institutions and industry associations
- Mitigattion of losses to fishermen in specific circumstances where impacts are localized and cannot be adequately addressed by other options
While Fishermen's Energy is interested in large-scale wind projects of the future, it is now leading the way in a small-scale state project off New Jersey waters.