Lifelong fisherman accuses green energy companies, government of wanting to put him out of business

Fishing boat captain Jerry Leeman has written a passionate and compelling op-ed detailing how foreign green energy companies and the government are strangling the fishing industry with regulations, deliberately forcing them out of business.

(Video Credit: The Maine Reset)

“Offshore wind energy might be killing whales, but there’s no question it’s killing American fishermen,” he opened the piece by emphatically stating on Fox News. “I’ve been a fishing boat captain for over 20 years. I live on an island in Maine and sail out of New Bedford, Mass. My brothers and cousins are lobstermen.”

“Fishing is the trade our family has plied for generations. We’re proud to practice the founding craft of our nation. When colonists first settled New England, they looked to the sea to sustain them. And so it is for our coastal communities four centuries on,” he continued.

Although the fishing industry has fed millions of Americans for centuries here in the United States, with leftists pushing an all-consuming climate change agenda, Leeman wonders just how much longer fishing will be a viable way to make a living.

“But for how much longer? Federal regulators and foreign green energy companies seem determined to drive us off the water and lay waste to the communities that depend on fishing. If their well-laid development plans succeed, biblical calamity will follow for working people across New England,” he asserted.

Consider the mechanics of fishing. Commercial fishermen land fish by running nets through the water column off the back of our boats. When foreign green energy companies sink wind turbines into the ocean floor, they permanently close those areas to our nets. We call it obstruction bottom – there’s no way we could run our nets through or around them,” the fisherman pointed out.

While Americans were distracted by a myriad of catastrophes under President Biden’s leadership, these foreign interests and the government have been seizing large swaths of fishing channels for offshore wind development.

“On Maine’s coast alone, some ten million acres have been designated for offshore wind development. As the adjoining chart from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management shows, that’s practically the entirety of Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine,” Leeman noted.

“I’ve worked those waters for two decades. They are highly productive and sustainable. But I will never work those areas again once they are packed with turbines that lumber down to the sea floor,” he commented.

This will force fishermen to fish close to the coast which is not only less productive but dangerous.

“The remaining fishermen will be forced to stay close to the coast, competing bitterly in a few bays and estuaries. Those very waters are spawning grounds for many species of fish. Restricting the fleet to those areas will jeopardize the same species regulators claim to protect,” he claimed.

“We also worry about the effects wind turbines will have on marine life. Research from Norway indicates that HVDC cables that run inland from offshore windfarms generate magnetic fields that disrupt the swimming patterns of infant fish, such as haddock. Magnetic fields vector them out of ‘nurseries’ toward waters with more predators or less abundant sources of food,” Leeman added.

“Haddock are the main species of fish that I catch, and the Norwegian study warned that these magnetic fields could have negative ‘population-scale implications for haddock in the wild.’ Sounds to me like wind farms are an invasive species,” he said, expertly describing the situation.

It’s not that fishermen are against alternative forms of energy. But implementing green energy while killing off a big part of the food supply is just insane.

“No fisherman I know is against alternative sources of energy. But the green transition should not be accomplished by the wholesale destruction of our domestic fishing fleet and the communities that depend on it. After all, we are the consumers wind energy companies purport to serve. We are the citizens our government purports to protect. Yet few if any of our elected officials are advocating for us,” the fishing captain proclaimed.

“This is an inexplicable dereliction of duty on the part of our elected leaders. The fleet sustains jobs in dockyards, fuel dealerships, processing centers, and transportation. In our coastal towns, you either make a living with your hand in the water or count on someone else who does. It’s like a tree of life coming out from the sea,” he charged.

Just as states such as Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Florida, and Texas have learned the hard way, Maine is seeing leftists fleeing their own states because of unlivable policies and moving there. Unfortunately, they are bringing their leftist ideas and politics with them, creating a self-defeating environment anywhere they go.

“The squeeze on the fishing industry tracks an influx of new residents in my home state of Maine, which was a top destination for remote workers during the pandemic. The state has added more than 30,000 new residents since July 2020 alone,” Leeman explained.

“These new neighbors presumably came because Maine lives up to its billing as ‘Vacationland.’ But as is true anywhere, the new arrivals are displacing those of us who were born here. In many cases, fishermen are being disinherited from our livelihoods and from our homes,” he sadly recounted.

Critics contend the left is destroying a whole industry and the livelihood of many, many fishermen by trying to impose a utopian edict that is doomed to fail.

“My business is hard going I don’t have the luxury of fishing when the weather allows. I’m at sea year-round for seven to ten days at a time. This time of year, that means handling 15-foot swells in subzero temperatures for hours at a time,” Leeman stated.

“The work is grueling and relentless. We often choose between eating and sleeping. Every workplace has its stresses and challenges, but at sea, a truly bad day can end with a fatality. I once woke up laying on the ceiling of my cabin – a rogue wave had flipped our boat in the middle of the night,” he said.

“Nature’s challenges suffice. Now, our own government is trying to destroy us too,” the fisherman concluded.

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