National Fisherman

Critics of scientists' plans to study the deep ocean floor off New Jersey using seismic airguns say they will rally on Wednesday in Barnegat Light, seeking to organize opposition among the Long Beach Island summer resorts, after federal ocean regulators turned down New Jersey's request to review the imminent project.

The group Clean Ocean Action and its allies in the fishing industry say they worry the loud underwater booming of airguns — generating sonic waves that penetrate deep sediments in the ocean bottom — will disrupt the movements and behavior of fish and marine mammals like porpoises and whales.

On Tuesday, Clean Ocean Action director Cynthia Zipf said she had learned the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had turned down a review request from the state Department of Environmental Protection. Under the state's Coastal Zone Management Act, the DEP had claimed a right to review the plan by researchers from Rutgers University, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, and the University of Texas.

Read the full story at the Asbury Park Press>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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