THE drive for green energy could threaten the future of one of Yorkshire’s most lucrative traditional industries, its leaders have warned.
The sea bed off the East Riding coast is described as the “perfect” habitat for crab and lobster and is the biggest fishery of its kind in the UK, netting an annual catch worth millions.
But although generations have fished it sustainably for 200 years, fishermen say the industry is facing an unprecedented threat from the development of offshore wind farms, which it is feared will lead to large-scale industrialisation of the sea bed.
There are also concerns fisherman will be excluded from the grounds where the wind farms are sited and that potential damage will be spread across a much greater area than that occupied by the developments.
Mike Cohen, chief executive of Holderness Coast Fishing Industry Group, said: “We are very concerned about habitat change from wind farms being built.
“During construction, big boreholes have to be drilled and big trenches are ploughed for the cables linking the turbines to the land – that causes a lot of habitat damage and not just to the immediate area.
“Hundreds, maybe even thousands of tonnes of sediment will be thrown up into the water column and will settle according to the prevailing currents. We are concerned that sediment from construction projects will smother areas of the sea bed that provide the habitats that crab and lobster stocks depend on.”