After months of campaigning against a proposed offshore wind farm—which could power 50,000 South Fork homes with clean, renewable energy—Montauk fishermen admitted this week they’re mostly afraid the massive turbines could help fish take flight and attack them from the air.
Initially, fishermen said they believed the 15 turbines Deepwater Wind was approved to build roughly 30 miles off Montauk could adversely affect commercial fishing, but the claim wasn’t holding water. With little hard evidence to support their claim, and Deepwater Wind’s first wind farm off Block Island having no ill effects, the men of Montauk’s fleet relented and shared their true fears.
“OK, so it’s unlikely the turbines will keep the fish off our hooks and out of our nets,” local lobsterman Jango Manfreedy said. “But none of us are feeling particularly good about these creatures having access to so much wind, especially smack in the middle of their habitat,” he added. “Those fish, sharks, rays—whatever, all of them—will eventually learn to harness that wind, and it could spell doom for those of us who have been hunting them all these years.”
Area marine biologists and scientists hired by Deepwater Wind have balked at the idea that fish could manage such a feet, though none could deny that a variety of sea animals are known to jump out above the water’s surface.
“So, imagine for a moment if those fish started jumping in such a way that they caught the wind currents coming from those turbines,” Manfreedy said. “They could take flight and bombard our boats from above,” he continued. “The whole picture gets even uglier if sharks learn to carry crabs and crabs carry shrimp and so on…”
In spite of all reason and facts supplied by Deepwater Wind and the science community, the men and women from Montauk’s fishing fleet have remained steadfast in their opposition to the plan, and it doesn’t appear anyone is changing their mind any time soon.
“Cheaper, cleaner energy won’t do any of us much good from the belly of a great white shark,” Manfreedy pointed out.
As of press time, Deepwater Wind said they are working on solutions to the flying, homicidal fish problem.