Proposed closure of sandeel fishing in Scottish waters could help address the nature emergency and fight climate change

Our 4.1GW Berwick Bank Offshore Wind Farm The project is now at the planning and design stage.

Alongside our planning applications we are suggesting a suite of ecosystem based management proposals to allow us to propose a more environmentally sensitive proposal for Berwick Bank Wind Farm. We plan to do this by implementing ecosystem management measures to compensate for the environmental impact of offshore wind, particularly on seabirds – something which is likely to be required for most new offshore wind projects.

From extensive research into optimum compensation measures, we have clearly identified that the further restriction of sandeel fishing in the North Sea can be the single most effective environmental measure available, with the potential to provide compensation not just for Berwick Bank, but for many future ScotWind projects.

Sandeels are the main prey for key seabird species such as Kittiwake and Puffins. Fishing for them, primarily by Danish trawlers, has put pressure on the availability of this food source.

There is significant scientific evidence to show that improving sandeel stocks will significantly improve the health of key seabird colonies and help offset the potential impact of offshore windfarms.

However, this isn’t a measure which is in the gift of an offshore wind developer to deliver. Only government can make it happen.

We welcome the Scottish Government's current consultation on the closure of sandeel fishing in Scottish waters. The consultation represents a critical opportunity to secure the environmental compensation necessary to meet offshore wind and net zero targets, but also to help build a sustainable supply chain here in Scotland.

You can find out more about our proposals here: Berwick Bank Ecosystem Management Proposals

For further information on our proposals please get in touch with our team at [email protected]