Thursday 21 September 2017 07:46:19 AM

First Flight Wind Holds Opening Meeting of Commercial Fisheries Working Group
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FIRST Flight Wind, a consortium comprising B9 Energy, DONG Energy and RES aiming to build a windfarm off the coast of County Down, has held the first meeting of the Commercial Fisheries Working Group at the Fishermen’s Mission in Ardglass.

The working group is made up of local fishing organisations, Councillors, Government bodies, the Crown Estate and First Flight Wind, and is part of the consortium’s on-going stakeholder engagement process.

Dr Matt Service AFBI and Davey Hillm ANIFPO prepare for the First Flight Wind Commercial Working Group.

Dr Matt Service AFBI and Davey Hillm ANIFPO prepare for the First Flight Wind Commercial Working Group.

Since the launch of the offshore wind project in October 2012, First Flight Wind has met regularly with local fishing organisations, including the Anglo-North Irish Fish Producers Organisation (ANIFPO) the Northern Ireland Fish Producers’ Organisation (NIFPO) and the North East Lobster Fisherman’s Co-operative Society (NELCO).

The Commercial Fisheries Working Group will provide an additional forum to allow constructive discussion of any issues of concern to the local fishing community arising from the proposed offshore wind farm.

Ingrid Pearce of First Flight Wind said: “We are pleased to have commenced the Commercial Fisheries Working Group meetings. We are aware from our initial consultation with the fishing industry that the project creates both opportunities and challenges. The Working Group will allow issues to be brought to the table and for potential solutions to be explored in a constructive way. We believe that open communication and full consultation will help to ensure that the proposed project will be a positive asset to coastal Co. Down and to the whole of Northern Ireland.”

It is envisaged that the Fisheries Working Group will meet up to four times a year, up until applications for consent are submitted, potentially in mid-2015.

 Members of the Fisheries Working Group.

*   Cllr Joe Boyle, SDLP, and Cllr Angus Carson, UUP, Ards Borough Council  representing the Tri- Council Fishing Group)

A windfarm is being proposed off the County Down coast and plans are being looked at.

A windfarm is being proposed off the County Down coast and plans are being looked at in the consultation period. 

*   Davey Hill and Alan McCullagh- ANIFPO

*   Stephen Kearney, NIFPO

*   Colin Nelson, NELCO

*   Dr Matt Service, AFBI

*   Colin Warwick, The Crown Estate

*   Jim Hayes, Fisheries Operation and technical support, DCAL

*   Mark McCaughan, Chief Fisheries Officer, DARD

*   Cara Lavery, DoE

*   Francis O’Donnell, IFPO

*   Dr Richard Briggs, Fisheries Liaison Officer, FFW Ltd

*   Lynn Gilmore, Seafish

*   Ingrid Pearce, FFW Ltd

*   Thomas Frampton, FFW Ltd

*   Dr Andy Revill, FFW Ltd

*   Sacha Workman, FFW Ltd