In order to reduce carbon emissions and achieve a nuclear-free homeland, the Taiwan government revised the “Guidelines on Energy Development” in 2017 for its energy transition. By 2025, renewable energy is expected to reach 20%, with offshore wind power of 4.2 GW, an estimated power generation capacity of 14 billion kWh, and an annual carbon reduction of 7.1 million tons. However, among the 36 planned offshore wind farms in Taiwan, 21 are off the coast of Changhua. This is an important fishing ground for the coastal fishery industry and a production base for aquaculture in shallow marine water. Offshore wind farms are bound to affect the livelihood of fishermen. Therefore, through the co-existence and co-prosperity between wind farms and fishery, the conflicts in sea area utilization can be solved by marine spatial planning (MSP) and integrated coastal zone management (ICZM).
It is worth the time to think about how to use the idle sea areas between offshore wind turbines. Sea areas in wind farms may be efficiently used if marine ranches and cage culture can be planned based on the concept of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA). Therefore, on the premise of investments in cage culture, this study evaluated the marine environment, biological resources, hardware settings, legal norms, and economic feasibility of the predetermined area of Phase 1 wind power plant off the coast of Changhua, Taiwan. According to the results, round cages could help reduce the impacts of ocean currents and tides, and 16 cages placed in sea areas among four wind turbines could achieve economic scale and remarkable fishery benefits without affecting the safety of wind turbines. If fishes with high economic values are cultured in cages and species from various trophic levels, such as seaweed and shellfish, are produced, then this can reduce impacts on the overall environment and help increase the values of fishery resources, so that the sea areas for offshore wind power can be sustainably operated.
Taiwan’s coastal fishery industry is declining day by day. While wind farms are in conflict with the industry, it can be a turning point for fishermen. It is better to teach someone to fish than to give him a fish. Measures, such as proper compensation mechanisms, a friendly adjustment on fishery management, and sound fishing village development, can aid in the co-existence and co-prosperity between wind farms and fishery after energy transition.
Dr Cheng Ting Huang PhD, Department of Aquaculture , National Taiwan Ocean University, R.O.C.
Experience: Supervisor, Taiwan Fishery Economic Development Association. Secretary-general, Taiwan Fishery Sustainability Development Association. Director, Taiwan Association for Marine Environmental and Education (TAMEE).
Present Position: Associate Professor, Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University. Chairman, Aquatic Animal Center, Department of Aquaculture, National Taiwan Ocean University.
Field of Specialization: Economics of Aquaculture, Management of Aquaculture.
Since 2016, he has carried out more than 30 research projects, including cage aquaculture fishery, symbiosis of fishing and electricity, aquaculture economic and management, artificial intelligence techniques to implement a practical smart aquaculture management system, and published 20 research articles on aquaculture economics and management in international journals