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GICON informs about compatibility of offshore wind energy and fishing industries

Experiences from Germany and Europe to help in the planning and construction of wind farms in Korea

How can fishing and offshore wind energy be reconciled? To get answers to this conflict-ridden question, a South Korean delegation visited the Hamburg office of the Institute for Applied Ecology (IfAÖ) and ESG Edelstahl und Umwelttechnik Stralsund GmbH (ESG) in Stralsund for two days at the end of November, 2015. Both companies are members of the GICON Group.

Reason for the visit is the massive, three-stage expansion of offshore wind energy in South Korea. Fishermen are concerned about the effects of the expansion on yields in their fishing areas, for which they have vested fishing rights.

The delegation was composed of representatives of the Korean wind farm operator "Korea Offshore Wind Power" and the country’s fishing industry. Regarding the experiences from Germany, IfAÖ experts reported that the lectures dealt with the following topics:

Offshore wind energy in Germany: government funding, permitting practices and legal situation in Germany and its neighboring countries with respect to fisheries

Conflicts & opportunities: results of initial studies in Germany on the impact of offshore wind farms on fish stocks

Multiple use and co-management of offshore structures: marine aquaculture at offshore wind farms

Thereafter, the four participants visited DONG Energy Wind Power Germany GmbH, the European market leader for offshore wind energy. In Germany, DONG is involved at the Borkum Riffgrund 1 and Gode Wind 1 and 2 wind farms. IfAÖ performed biological monitoring studies at all three wind farms.

In Stralsund, the participants visited the ESG production site on the grounds of the Volkswerft, where the GICON® SOF, Germany's first floating offshore foundation, is being assembled. In addition to the economic benefits of floating structures compared to fixed foundations, the Korean experts also discussed the importance of the offshore wind industry in the region with senior ESG staff. Using the example of the shipbuilding industry in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, it was clearly illustrated how shipyards are increasingly switching from shipbuilding to the production of offshore structures and the opportunities that are thereby created.

The Korean guests were very pleased with the results and indicated they plan a return visit next year.

South Korean delegation in Hamburg

South Korean delegation in Hamburg