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Mass. seeks to protect fishing in wind energy push

April 19, 2011

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BOSTON—Patrick administration officials are asking the federal government to bar potential offshore wind farms from areas that have been identified by commercial fishermen and others as vital to the Massachusetts fishing industry.

Gov. Deval Patrick said the request was designed to protect the state's fishing industry even as Massachusetts hopes to develop another industry -- renewable energy.

The administration's request would remove from consideration about half of a 3,000 square mile area in federal waters south of Massachusetts originally set aside for possible wind energy development.

The request would also exempt shipping lanes and waters on the eastern side of the original lease area important to the Massachusetts fishing industry.

Federal officials are looking for proposals from companies interested in building wind farms on the outer continental shelf off Massachusetts.