“The opposition from all fishing associations in the North is total. What is under public consultation will not be accepted by fishermen. It's out of the question. There will be no wind farms in front of Viana do Castelo. There is only one solution, to block the project, appeal to the European court, moving forward with a precautionary measure”, the representative of VianaPesca, Francisco Portela Rosa, told Lusa agency.

At issue is the PAER, which is under public consultation for 30 days. According to a note from the Ministry of Economy and the Sea, the plan, prepared by the General Directorate of Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services (DGRM), is accompanied by the strategic environmental assessment report and other elements.

According to the same note, the approval of the PAER precedes the competitive procedure to achieve the objective of providing a capacity of 10 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030.

Francisco Portela Rosa, who represents the VianaPescas cooperative of fish producers in Viana do Castelo, with around 450 members, said that “on Saturday, at 9:30 am, the fishing associations in the North will make their opposition clear during the congress of the small fishing that will take place in the volunteer fire department hall of Vila Praia de Âncora, in Caminha”.

The official said that “after several meetings that fishing associations in the North held with DGRM, an agreement was reached on the areas that could be occupied by renewable energy production projects of oceanic origin or location”.

“It was agreed that in the areas covered by offshore wind farms, three boats would have to be decommissioned and around two dozen vessels would be left without around 30 to 40% of the fishing area,” he explained.

In return, he added, “it was agreed that the compensation to be awarded to the sector for the impact of the project would have to be calculated based on sales over the last five years”.

“We proposed to the director general of Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services that all affected municipalities be compensated with around 10% of energy production revenue, with part of this amount being distributed among fishermen's associations. The proposal remains to be analyzed”, said Francisco Portela Rosa.

According to the person responsible, the fishermen's associations in the North consider that “the project now under public consultation does not come to fruition”.

“They will occupy areas of fishing excellence, which we try to defend. The area we proposed is acceptable. If they don’t want to, steps will have to be taken to prevent the project from moving forward in our region,” he stated.

The PAER public consultation is available for a period of 30 days, on the ConsultaLex and Participa portals, as well as on the DGRM website.