Offshore Renewables and Coexistence with Fisheries

Late last year, Gippsland was declared as Australia’s first offshore wind farm zone so it’s no surprise that offshore renewables and how they will coexist with the fishers have been on the mind of many Victorian recfishers recently.

At offshore wind farms around the world, often recreational fishing can occur alongside an operational offshore wind farm and the structures can act as artificial reefs.

VRFish have been contacted by the Offshore Infrastructure Regulator after the regulator received some concerns from the public regarding offshore renewables coexisting with fisheries.

To address these concerns, they’ve provided a fact sheet to provide information about the Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (OEI) Act Framework, outline opportunities for consultation where the view of fishers can be accounted for across area declaration, authorisation and approval processes. 

Under the OEI Framework, the Offshore Infrastructure Regulator are responsible for overseeing work health and safety, infrastructure integrity and environmental management of offshore renewable energy activities in the Commonwealth offshore area. 


In regards to offshore renewable coexisting with fisheries, the factsheet says:

The OEI Act framework operates under the principle of shared use of the offshore marine environment, recognising all users and balancing competing interests.

International experience indicates that the offshore renewables sector can co-exist with other offshore industries and activities, with many examples of fishing continuing around operational offshore wind farms. There are also examples where the introduction of offshore renewables has led to changes in fishing areas and activities.

Early and meaningful dialogue between offshore renewables proponents and fisheries stakeholders is important to understand the interactions between the sectors and to identify and mitigate any potential impacts.


• Area identification and declaration processes for offshore renewables visit:

• Licensing offshore renewable energy projects visit:

• Regulating offshore renewable energy projects visit:

The Offshore Infrastructure Regulator welcome any feedback on the draft fact sheet by 24 February 2023.

Contact the Offshore Infrastructure Regulator with any feedback: or via [email protected]

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