Wind farm at sea off the island of Oléron: fishermen put water in their wine!


After eight NGOs and the municipality of Saint-Pierre-d’Oléron, the fishermen-sailors have in turn formulated a gracious appeal against « the project of [deux] offshore wind farms off the coasts of the South Atlantic”. Considered facing the island of Oléron, in Charente-Maritime, their aerogenerators could eventually reach a total power of 2000 megawatts (MW).

The Regional Committee for Maritime Fisheries and Marine Farming (CRPMEM) of New Aquitaine – more than 520 vessels and 370 breeders or shellfish farmers – has thus just recalled « unanimously » its opposition and its serious concerns about the location chosen by the state. In a detailed letter addressed to the Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, its members fear “the loss of fishing areas” and “the negative impacts (…) on marine life”.

An outstretched hand?

However, the fishermen formalize a position much less firm than that outlined in recent months: they call on the government to move these two parks « further west (…), beyond 55 nautical miles », i.e. more 100 kilometers from the coast. Should we see a hand extended to the address of the State? “There is no zone of least stress. But only a few boats fish beyond this distance. And the fauna and flora are not the same”, justifies Johnny Wahl, the president of the CRPMEM Nouvelle-Aquitaine.

« Personally » and like many professionals, this Oléronnais keeps repeating his strictest opposition to offshore wind turbines and the lack of studies related to their impact on biodiversity and ecosystems. Collectively, the New Aquitaine fishermen have nevertheless decided to put water – salty – in their wine. Johnny Wahl confirms that he endorses the CRPMEM’s approach. « I would not understand that the government refuses this pole », warns the boss of the fishermen who, if not, says he is always ready to engage in a legal battle against « this project which threatens our sector and our jobs ».

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