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DFO/DEOS Seminar - FishFLOW: Towards an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment of Fisheries and Offshore Wind Development in the Gulf of Maine by: Julia Bingham

When: Wednesday, April 3, 2024
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Where: > See description for location
Description: SMAST E 101-103 and via Zoom


The development of floating offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine (GOM) will variably impact the ecology, oceanography, socioeconomics, and culture of the GOM social-ecological system. A recent Synthesis of the Science effort identified that potential interactions between offshore wind and GOM fisheries and fishing communities are of particular concern, but lacking understanding (Hogan et al. 2023). The Fisheries and Floating Offshore Wind Integrated Ecosystem Assessment for the Gulf Of Maine (FishFLOW IEA) is a transdisciplinary inter-institutional collaborative effort by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC), the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center (URI CRC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant seeking to address this concern using an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) framework (Levin et. al., 2014). As offshore wind development continues accelerating in US territorial waters, IEAs can serve an important role in supporting direct stakeholder input to deliverables designed to address decision points in wind siting, construction, operation, and monitoring processes. In the FishFlOW IEA project, our methodology emphasizes human dimensions considerations in ecosystem approaches by forefronting qualitative social science methods, community engagement, and local ecological knowledge (LEK) in an effort to identify complex interactions between offshore wind, fisheries, and the environment, and to produce tools for environmental analyses and impact assessment. We are engaging with fishing industry and community members as well as scientists, state and federal managers, and offshore wind developers to build the IEA. We first developed a conceptual model of interactions between fisheries and floating offshore wind using public comment forums and existing scientific knowledge. We then facilitated a series of participatory workshops with multiple GOM ocean user groups to collaboratively refine the model, identify knowledge gaps, and determine key indicators and data needs. In our next steps, we will continue to work with fishing communities and research and management groups to identify key data sources, appropriately apply LEK, and co-produce information for indicator assessment. In this presentation, Dr. Bingham will discuss insights from our work so far and reflect on our methodological approach.
Contact: > See Description for contact information
Topical Areas: SMAST, Students, Graduate