Court Injunction

12th August 2014 in Marine Planning and Licensing

The National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations has expressed regret that offshore wind developer, Dong Energy, has issued an injunction against Norfolk fishermen who work in an area the company wants to survey.

NFFO Chief Executive, Barrie Deas, commented:

"It is very regrettable that the company has seen fit to turn to the courts over an issue that should be resolved through dialogue and negotiations. Fishermen have a legitimate right to fish on their customary grounds and using a high court injunction to force them out of the way seems like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

"In over 30 years, there have been very few examples in which offshore developers have resorted to the courts. We can usually sort out an amicable arrangement that compensates fishermen for losing temporary or permanent access to their fishing areas. On the whole, the fishing industry's relationship with offshore developers – whether in the oil and gas, cables or renewables sectors - have been exemplary. It has generally been possible to establish procedures to ensure successful coexistence. It comes as a surprise that a big stick approach is now being used.

“It seems that Dong Energy has left insufficient time to reach agreement with local fishermen and there has been a regrettable breakdown in dialogue."