RI - MONTI: Panelists Say Wind Farm Reef Effect Will Attract Pelagic Fish
Ørsted, owner of the Block Island Wind Farm and five other wind farms off the East Coast, held its second Fishinar Series last Wednesday on pelagic fishing for sharks, tuna, mahi and other species in the near offshore.
A total of 164 anglers registered for the online event, and the aim of the Ørsted Fishinar Series is to encourage angler input into offshore wind farm plans while relating strategies and tactics on how to catch fish through expert charter captains and private anglers. You can search for the Fishinars on YouTube.
Panelist Capt. Charlie Donilon of Snappa Fishing and Diving Charters in Point Judith said, “We have caught, tagged and released sharks right in the Block Island Wind Farm area. As part of a study, we tagged a mako with a transmitter that traveled halfway across the Atlantic, with others traveling far south down our coast to the Carolinas and beyond.” Capt. Donilon is a shark specialist providing shark cage diving and shark fishing services to his clients (tagging and releasing all sharks).
Capt. John McMurray of One More Cast light tackle charters specializes in targeting tuna and mahi with stand up light tackle. Capt. McMurray said, “We are doing well catching mahi around research buoys deployed by wind farm developers off New York and New Jersey. We believe turbine pylons will have an artificial reef effect just like the Block Island Wind Farm, and attract pelagic fish as these research buoys are attaching them.”
Ørsted has developed an online survey to identify angler attitudes toward offshore wind, who fishes and what they fish for in wind farm areas. The survey takes five minutes and ends with an offer to be updated on a regular basis about wind farm activity and news.