Great Lakes
Gloucester Daily Times

OH - Fighting for fishing grounds in face of wind farms

For almost a half century, Angela Sanfilippo has spearheaded campaigns to protect the physical and economic health of commercial fishermen, their families and the communities in which they live.

For almost a half century, Angela Sanfilippo has spearheaded campaigns to protect the physical and economic health of commercial fishermen, their families and the communities in which they live.

The longtime president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association waged battle with energy behemoths while opposing two live natural gas pipeline terminals within about a dozen miles of Gloucester’s shores.

She fought foreign encroachment into U.S. fishing grounds and wrestled with fishing regulators over onerous fishery management regulations that have shrunk access to the rich fishing grounds that surround Cape Ann.

Now Sanfilippo is saddling up one more time to try to prevent the inexorable march of offshore wind projects in Massachusetts waters from blowing away elements of the Bay State’s historic and productive fishing industry.

“We are not crazy enough to think we’re going to stop this massive thing now,” Sanfilippo said at the beginning of an extended interview following the federal government’s final approval on May 10 of the Vineyard Wind 1 offshore wind project, located south of Martha’s Vineyard. “But we want to be at the table.”

To date, she said, that has not been the case. Commercial fishing stakeholders, she said, feel frozen out of the complex offshore wind approval process and cast adrift by elected representatives and government regulators.

“With our federal representatives, we are very, very, very upset,” Sanfilippo said. “They didn’t even call us and ask us, ‘How is this going to affect your fishing people?’ We received nothing. Nothing. I haven’t received a phone call or an email.”

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