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No Link Between Whale Deaths and Offshore Wind, NOIA Says

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 2, 2023

©Sheryl//AdobeStock

©Sheryl//AdobeStock

Several dead whales have recently washed up on the shores of New York and New Jersey, with environmental groups blaming the offshore wind industry and calling for its halt.

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), which represents the offshore oil and gas and offshore renewables industries in the United States, said that while it was true that there was an unusual whale mortality on the Atlantic coast, there was no connection to the offshore wind industry.

NOIA President Erik Milito said: “Claims linking the offshore wind industry to these deaths are misleading and not supported by the facts and evidence. 

"As detailed in a recent report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Atlantic Coast has been experiencing an unusual whale mortality event since at least 2016, well before offshore wind development was initiated in these areas. 

According to NOAA the leading causes of the whale deaths are entanglements and vessel strikes: "The preliminary cause of mortality, serious injury, and morbidity (sublethal injury and illness) in most of these whales is from rope entanglements or vessel strikes."

"Offshore wind is on the pathway to becoming a major source of clean energy for all Americans, drawing billions of dollars in investment to the U.S. and creating thousands of new jobs. NOIA members have been working closely with relevant federal agencies to ensure that projects are developed in a way that protects and preserves marine wildlife."

While the currently installed offshore wind capacity in the U.S. in minuscule compared to those in UK, EU, and China, energy intelligence group Intelatus said in its recent report that the foundations continued to solidify and support the deployment of 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 110 GW by 2050.

Intelatus' forecast accounts for close to 70 offshore wind projects that will install over 78 GW of capacity in this and the next decade, and a total 110 GW by 2050 in the U.S.

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