Editorial: Ill timing for seismic testing

We value scientific research, but not at the expense of the very environment being studied.

That is why we support the injunction filed Thursday by the state Department of Environmental Protection to stop seismic testing 15 to 50 miles southeast of Barnegat Inlet. The testing is aimed at examining how the New Jersey coastline advanced and retreated as sea levels rose and fell over millions of years.

That would yield valuable information for scientists and others looking for ways to preserve the Jersey Shore in the face of climate change. We don’t deny the worth of such research. But the timing is wrong. Mid-summer is prime time for commercial and recreational fishing in that area, and the risk from seismic testing to fish and to the economic viability of the fishing industry would be at its peak. The court should stop the project at least until the summer is over. The testing is scheduled to begin as early as Monday.

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