Scallopers Scuttled: Offshore Wind Turbines Destroying Scotland’s Fishing Industry

Skipper Steven Girgan, right, with Councillor Dougie Campbell, left.


Britain’s trawlermen are tough, but not invincible. Giant industrial wind turbines and their associated infrastructure have wrecked once productive fishing grounds, including the scallop beds of the Moray Firth.

Dodging turbines in rough seas is bad enough: Collision Course: Offshore Wind Turbines Present New (Unnecessary) Mortal Danger for Trawlermen

But having nets and fishing gear snagged on and destroyed by the turbines’ transmission cables is a bridge too far.

Skipper claims Kirkcudbright scallop boats being displaced from fishing grounds by wind energy schemes
Daily Record
Stephen Norris
23 August 2019

Kirkcudbright scallop boats are being displaced from traditional summer fishing grounds by wind energy developments, according to a skipper.

Steven Girgan estimates up to 15 vessels have abandoned seas off Wick and Montrose for waters elsewhere.

Underwater cables, turbine towers and buried rock make trailing dredging gear too dangerous, he claims.

Huge areas now off-limits include SSE’s 84-turbine Beatrice windfarm, in the outer Moray Firth, which went fully operational in June.

Mr Girgan, pictured left, told the News: “We are usually away for five months in the summer, a ten-day trip, then home at weekends.

“These are traditional and important grounds. But we can’t work them because there’s cables all over the bit.

“So we have lost our summertime fishery. We are on the west coast of Islay just now.

“Other Kirkcudbright boats are up at Skye and some are in the Channel.”

The Susan Bird skipper added: “This fishing has been pretty poor which has added to the problem.

“It has had a big impact on my business. And once these things are there, they are not going away.”

Femke de Boer, inshore policy officer for the Scottish White Fish Producers Association, confirmed marine windfarms were affecting the Kirkcudbright fishing effort.

She said: “The boats’ plotters can’t see individual turbines — they are just a blur on the screen.

“And if they get too close the electromagnetic field can affect the vessels’ navigation systems.

“That means you can only get through a windfarm when its completely nice weather.”

Boats’ long mobile gear of cables and drag nets could also snag on cables, Ms de Boer said.

She added: “Burying the cables is the favoured option but sometimes they dump rock on top. If you are towing gear and accidentally snag something, a helicopter can’t just go and assist.

“It’s very worrying because once its signed off by government, there’s nothing we can do.”
Daily Record

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Jeff Walther says:

    It would be interesting to set up underwater cameras to monitor scallops below wind farms and other, undisturbed scallops

    Most marine life is quite sensitive to noise (changes in pressure are an excellent warning system). I would not be surprised to find that scallops near wind turbines spend more of the time closed, in mistaken panic that something is approaching, triggered by the cyclic noise.

    More time with a closed shell, means less time feeding, which means less productive/successful scallops. Whether they’re being harvested or not, this should be a concern. Surely “environmentalists” would care if they are hampering the normal life pattern of scallops…

  2. Peter Pronczak says:

    ’tis all abit odd.
    It’s been mentioned before but if climate change is making sea levels rise, then adding more displacement material to all the sunken ships, etc., from war and peace, along with blown away topsoil, river and sewer additions, plus all the years of garbage scow dumping, along with sunken and sinking cities, then it could be thought that adding more would be a no, no.
    But no, that sort of thinking is on the tipping side of illogical.

    Usually there’s a planning logistical criteria that RE seems to have skipped, or maybe I blinked.
    Or perhaps more whales are adding to the problem – hate to see shrimp become extinct – it’s complicated; such a delicate balance of illogical and stupid.
    With all the emotional expenditure on extinction now, it’ll be an anticlimax when the Sun goes out; solar panels won’t work so we’ll have to be blown away – Oh to have a crystal ball!

  3. Reblogged this on Climate-

  4. Son of a goat says:

    Gillighan the editor of the zealots daily rag, “Ruin the economy” has been getting his knickers in a knot lately.

    It would seem that Angus Taylor and STT are public enemy number one.

    Gillighan in his latest literary master piece rants how Angus Taylor has been a continual thorn in the side of the zealots aim of a 100% plus renewables future and is on a one man mission to stop wind and solar.

    Of course STT gets a mention as a nasty, nasty piece of work.

    I’m not sure if it’s wishful thinking but the tide seems to be turning against the renewables industry and don’t their brethren know it.

    Whether it be a push for Labor to move to a more conservative emissions policy or the anger in the community against the extinction rebellion protestors, the zealots are on the nose.
    Maybe after a coming summer of blackouts it might be the smart time for Angus to announce some new coal and gas generators.

    Cheer up Gillighan, it could be worse, you could be like poor old Yoda!

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