The Martha’s Vineyard / Dukes County Fishermen’s Association (MVDCFA) have dismissed their federal lawsuit and have entered into a settlement agreement with Cape Wind.
MVDCFA is an organization dedicated to representing the interests of commercial fishermen on Martha’s Vineyard and preserving fishing opportunities for the future. MVDCFA announced Tuesday that the lawsuit filed by MVDCFA and Jonathan Mayhew has been dropped and the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen and Cape Wind have agreed to work together to support sustainable local Island commercial fisheries and sustainable energy.
In exchange for dropping the lawsuit, Cape Wind has agreed to fund a new fishing permit program. The Martha’s Vineyard Permit Bank will enable the purchase of commercial fishing permits for local commercial fishermen’s use and the promotion of ‘Vineyard wild-caught’ seafood.
“The establishment of the Martha’s Vineyard Permit Bank will help protect the livelihood of local fishermen and help ensure this vibrant fishery remains for future generations,” MVDCFA President Warren Doty said. “Sustainable fisheries and sustainable offshore clean energy need to work together collaboratively and share the ocean. Responsible clean energy projects help preserve and enhance the oceans on which we all depend.”
Cape Wind and Martha’s Vineyard fishermen will also work together to make sure Horseshoe Shoal remains open to fishing activities.
Cape Wind President Jim Gordon said, “Cape Wind and the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen share the value of sustainability. Offshore clean energy can go hand in hand with a sustainable ocean ecosystem and sustainable fisheries.”
However, Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership, the largest commercial fishing organization in the state, remains strongly opposed to Cape Wind. They released a statement today that said, “The fact that the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen have dropped their lawsuit against Cape Wind in exchange for monetary compensation does not change the fact that Cape Wind will devastate essential fish habitat in Nantucket Sound and put the livelihoods of many commercial fishermen at risk. It is deplorable in such tough economic times that Cape wind would stoop so low as to push fishermen to accept an arrangement that would harm the industry for generations to come.”