Fisheries co-existence study, Japan

Our client was in the early development phase of their offshore wind projects in Japan. They were keen to understand how they might manage the interaction of their proposed developments with the fishing industry, maximising the opportunities for co-existence and minimising the risk to ongoing project development.  

japan offshore wind renewables fisheries

An industry with strong influence

RPS, along with our specialist subcontractor Macalister Elliott and Partners, were commissioned to review local fishing activity and provide an understanding of the potential impacts of the proposed offshore wind developments.  We leveraged lessons learned from our team’s UK experience relating to offshore wind and commercial fisheries co-existence, provide strategy recommendations to engage and build trust with the local fishing industry.

In Japan, the influence of fisheries on offshore wind developments is substantial, with permission needed from the relevant fishing cooperatives in addition to consent from the regulator. Our client wanted to understand the potential risk to their development projects and how they might mitigate these by working with the relevant fisheries cooperatives to find workable solutions to address potential effects on fishing operations. 

Advice based on a deep understanding

Our solution was to examine the fisheries operating in the relevant project areas, including vessel types, fishing gear used and the key target species of fish and shellfish. Using this information combined with our UK experience, we were able to identify potential impacts. We then reviewed the mitigation, compensation and livelihood enhancement option examples from UK developments to propose recommendations for discussion with the Japanese fishing industry. This included inviting our client to the UK to visit some offshore wind farms to get a deeper understanding of how they operate and interact with the local fishing industry, [see video].

Based on our understanding of the Japanese fisheries sector and fishing activity in the project locations, we were able to advise our client in relation to the potential risk to their development and their potential to affect fishing activity in the area. Our advice included how they might mitigate these risks by working with the relevant fisheries cooperatives to find workable solutions to address any potential effects on fishing operations. In particular, our team identified several examples of successful coexistence strategies implemented between the fishing industry and offshore wind developers in the UK, that are applicable in Japan.