Peterborough, On ----- February 14, 2011 --- Government listens to O.F.A.H. concerns and other stakeholders. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) is pleased that the Government of Ontario has announced it will not proceed with planned offshore wind projects until more research is done. The O.F.A.H. has long called for more research to be conducted prior to moving ahead with any offshore wind turbine development.
"The announcement by the Government of Ontario that they will not move ahead with offshore wind projects is good news for the environment, and exactly what we have been calling for," said Terry Quinney, O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager, Fish and Wildlife Services. "We do not see offshore wind power as the right way to go at this time. We have been urging the government to take the time and do the research needed to demonstrate that offshore wind turbines are the best alternative to coal. Clearly, they have listened."
A major O.F.A.H. concern is the potential impact on fish and wildlife, including migratory waterfowl such as ducks and geese, and fish, such as salmon, pickerel and perch, as well as the impact on related outdoor activities in parts of the Great Lakes. The O.F.A.H. believes more research is needed to assess the individual and cumulative impacts of offshore turbines to a wide range of species, including some that have been identified as species-at-risk. Questions remain about the placement of offshore wind turbines close to important waterbird staging, migratory and wintering habitats. The O.F.A.H. and other groups are concerned about potential waterbird mortality from collision with the blades, disrupted migratory movements and displacement from traditional foraging areas.
"The government has done the right thing by placing a moratorium on offshore wind projects, until it can be demonstrated that ecologically, economically and socially, it is good for Ontario," Quinney added. "For about ten years, we've been asking questions about the impacts on our healthy fish and wildlife populations. Now perhaps we'll get some answers."
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the province's largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.