Seismic Testing ?
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    Default Seismic Testing ?

    Anyone know anything about approval for seismic testing in the Atlantic this year? I had heard talks about this a few years ago, but it was shot down. They do this to echo-locate underground oil deposits.....blast the sea floor with air pulses and listen for the echo returns. I've heard this can be devastating to marine wildlife. Anyone know anything about it and if it is true? If so, how can we fight it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lbischoff View Post
    Anyone know anything about approval for seismic testing in the Atlantic this year? I had heard talks about this a few years ago, but it was shot down. They do this to echo-locate underground oil deposits.....blast the sea floor with air pulses and listen for the echo returns. I've heard this can be devastating to marine wildlife. Anyone know anything about it and if it is true? If so, how can we fight it?
    they did it a year or 2 back ....probably has something to do with the crappy fishing

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    They just finished a survey off Atlantic City for a proposed windfarm.
    Rather be diving.

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    The seismic survey boats were working off Brigantine a few weeks ago. Very visible from shore.
    Double "O"
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    Quote Originally Posted by double o View Post
    The seismic survey boats were working off Brigantine a few weeks ago. Very visible from shore.
    wow !! how much do you think it affect the bottom fishing or fishing in general

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    There were NO seismic testing vessels working off Brigantine. None. What you observed is unknown but there were no seismic tests going on!

    I suggest that instead of taking an adversarial view of the testing, with all of its aggressive language, I suggest that you actually investigate the technical details of what might be going on. Goto this site to hear the actual repeatable airgun sounds sent through the ocean:

    See our followup post for another example.

    We were fishing in the Toms Canyons some years ago when a NOAA Scientific Ship showed up and started to tow a seismic testing array in the area where we were fishing. The NOAA ship requested that all boats in the area move away from their track by at least 1/2 mile. The recreational boats promptly moved ... except us. We continued to carefully plot where the towed array was and kept clear of it. We continued to catch tuna within 1/4 mile of the towed array. We also noted that the whales and dolphins moved off about 1/2 mile and resumed feeding. It was obvious that the whales and dolphins had moved simply because they were annoyed at the activity caused by the NOAA ship. We fished the area adjacent to the NOAA ship for over 5 hours., We caught multiple tuna, raised multiple White Marlin and hooked one Blue Marlin. We also caught a sizable number of gaffer Mahi Mahi.

    Prior to the arrival of the NOAA ship, we had been catching tuna on a regular basis. There were lots of whales in the area as well as dozens of dolphins. These whales were Humpbacks and FinBacks. We noted above how the animals reacted to the NOAA ship. Basically, they moved off a very short distance, less than 1/2 mile, and resumed their lives.

    We observed not a single incident where we could state that the nominal noise generated by the air gun seismic testing affected the whales and dolphins, or tunas either, in the area that was being studied. When we were closest to the towed array, we could not hear the airguns at all.

    Is there sound generated? Yes, but it is certainly NOT the BLASTING as claimed by Clean Ocean Action and other people interfering with the experiment and does not negatively affect the whales and dolphins in the test area. I suggest that you goto the websites listed and listen to actual airgun seismic testing devices sound like and decide for yourself.

    The claims that there has never been offshore oil and gas exploration off the coast of New Jersey is patently untrue.

    I can personally tell you that there were active drilling rigs offshore the New Jersey Coast from 1978 through 1983. We fished around those rigs several times a week during that entire period. One rig was stationed at the south end of the long finger of the 40 Fathom Fingers. It was precisely 60 nautical miles from Beach Haven Inlet. You could see it all lit up at least 25 miles away as we approached it before dawn.

    Here's the scientific report from our observations ...

    We NEVER saw as much as a sheen in the water from that rig or any other rig we fished around out there either. NOTHING!!! And I can safely bet than not one of the objectors to ocean exploration bothered to be on site back when the rigs were active to observe the reality of what was taking place. Whatever they tell the public today is totally falsified. Pollution from the oil and gas operations in that era DID NOT HAPPEN!

    Let's look at one other example. The Gulf of Mexico. Remember Hurricane Katrina? How much oil-industry pollution took place due to that storm? How about almost NONE? The technology and engineering capabilities built into the network of rigs and pipelines was astounding. One of the major engineering marvels in the entire world.

    There is a major pipeline that carries petroleum products from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana to the Tampa area in Florida. The controllers of that pipeline started watching the meteorological reports for Katrina about a week before the storm got to their immediate area. However, when the storm breached their outer warning boundaries, they implemented their emergency plan. The pipeline disconnected itself into sections that the storm would likely not damage. But first, they emptied the pipeline and cleaned it out. Now, the pipeline was totally cleaned out, disconnected into sections that were deigned to survive severe storms, and they waited.

    Now we should all be familiar with the damage that Katrina wreaked on New Orleans. But the minute the storm passed, the team managing the cross Gulf pipeline dispatched service vessels into the Gulf and reconnected the sections of the pipeline that had been rolling around during the storm. The pipeline was reconnected and was pumping at full volume within 7 days of Katrina passing by. There was no pollution from Gulf rigs or pipelines due to the most dangerous hurricane ever! Not one drop!

    It is critical that the United States remains fully capable to supply our domestic energy needs from our own, controlled sources. Not knowing what assets we have offshore our coasts will be a major error that we can blame totally on ourselves. That cannot be permitted to happen!
    Last edited by CAPT. LINDSAY; 05-21-2017 at 09:41 PM.
    Capt. Lindsay Fuller

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    Here is our other example re the airgun seismic testing: We would not post this in our main response since BassBarn will not permit more than one web link in any response post.

    Here is another: Would you say those sounds are destructive to any form of life?
    Capt. Lindsay Fuller

    1 of NJ's first IGFA Certified Charter Captains.

    Member Beach Haven Charter Fishing Assn.

    June Bug Charters is a BassBarn.com advertiser.

    Cell 609-685-2839
    CaptLindsay@Fish-JuneBug.com
    www.Fish-JuneBug.com

    Life Member of RFA and NRA
    I support the JCAA, IGFA, TBF and DU
    Public Trustee - New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium
    Retired Officer of New Jersey Army National Guard
    Honorary Commander - USCG Atlantic Strike Force

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    Hi Captain,

    Thank you for the information. Very informative.

    I don't know anything about the underwater acoustic signature of seismic testing......but my background is acoustics. I have been involved in a study that examines the effects of migratory patterns on Atlantic Sturgeon. In the case of my project, the source of noise was a HUGE pile driving effort (piles 20-feet in diameter). That pile driving activity definitely had an impact on migration, and mortality for that matter. I would imagine that underwater mammals are less affected by high-pressure impulses, and it was very encouraging to hear your observation of whales moving away and continuing feeding. My background is not biology. But, I do know from previous work that fish swim bladders can be damaged by high-pressure pulses, and I would suspect that seismic testing causes exactly that - a high pressure pulse.

    I am not debating the politics involved with oil exploration and the need for energy independence. While, I respect your opinion, I do think more research needs to be done to make sure we aren't causing unforeseen long-term harm to our fisheries. It is very dangerous to extrapolate a huge curve from one data point (or observation).

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    by the way, very true there were oil rigs off NJ coast back in the 70's. However, they were only exploratory rigs and not oil-production rigs. They have a clean history because they never tapped into anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAPT. LINDSAY View Post
    There were NO seismic testing vessels working off Brigantine. None. What you observed is unknown but there were no seismic tests going on!
    DE – NJ – OFFSHORE - GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY OPERATIONS
    The M/V Atlantic Surveyor WTR5417 will be conducting geophysical survey operations in the following areas from 15 Apr to 15 May 2017, 7 days a week during daylight hours. Area 1 will be offshore Brigantine, New Jersey between 3 nautical miles and 5 nautical miles offshore (approximate center coordinate of survey area: 39° 21' 30.26" N, 074° 19' 33.59" W). Area 2 will be offshore Rehoboth Beach and Bethany Beach, Delaware between 3 nautical miles and 8 nautical miles offshore (approximate center coordinate of survey area: 38° 34’ 5.56” N, 074° 55’ 8.88” W)


    Charts: 12214 12216 12318


    LNM: 13/17


    https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/lnms/lnm05162017.pdf
    Rather be diving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAPT. LINDSAY View Post
    Here is our other example re the airgun seismic testing: We would not post this in our main response since BassBarn will not permit more than one web link in any response post.

    Here is another: Would you say those sounds are destructive to any form of life?
    The New Jersey Council of Diving Clubs (NJCDC) tried to discover what would be a safe distance underwater for sport divers from the Marine Geophysical Survey’s or Seismic Survey’s operating area off Barnegat Inlet scheduled to occur from June to August 2015 and ran into some confusing information.


    There is very limited research available regarding sport diver safety and distance from seismic testing. Most of the research we found suggested a safe Sound Pressure Level for sport divers of about 145 decibels (dB) referenced (re) to 1 microPascal (µPa). The NJCDC suggests sport divers add a safety factor and stay at this more conservative 145 dB re 1 µPa level at a distance of ~14 kilometers (8.6 miles, 7.5 nautical miles) from the boundaries of the survey area. The assumption is that all divers are wearing a wetsuit hood and a full dry or wetsuit (added safety).


    Decibel level in water has a different measurement than in air! “Confusion arises because relative intensities in water are referenced to 1 microPascal whereas sound waves in air are referenced to 20 microPascals. Therefore, relative sound intensity given in dB in water are not the same as relative sound intensities given in dB in air.” For example, a dB level of 145 would not be safe in air while considered acceptable underwater. You can go to http://www.dosits.org/science/soundsinthesea/airwater/ for a more complete explanation.
    Rather be diving.

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    LBISCHOFF, you are incorrect stating that they never "tapped into anything." The Amerada Hess rig that was working at the bottom end of the long 40 fathom finger was doing directional drilling. All of the rigs working off New Jersey found sizable quantities of gas but not much oil. While they found commercial quantities of gas, the plan was to pipe the products to shore in Rhode Island of all places. The prices of gas at that time did not cover the large costs of building pipelines to shore, especially that far away.

    Now that the industry uses fracking far more then they did back in the 70s, it is posssible that the area also holds more oil than they figured.

    We were able to talk to people on the rigs and they told us that they can't tell what they have found unless they DO "tap into something" and collect samples.

    The wells drilled back then are still there although they are capped.

    As mentioned in my original post on this thread, we have fished around seismic testing boats quite a few times. In all cases there were various forms of life there too, mammals and fish. The reactions that we noticed were that the mammals and fish moved off short distances and continued what they mostly do which is feed.

    Too many people overreact with things like oil and gas exploration. The Gulf of Mexico, while it suffered a major event with the Macondo well blowout, in general, the industry has an admirable record and fishermen there will tell you that the rigs are their major target since they hold fish so well. Many of the same people who complain about the U.S. importing energy from overseas turn right around and complain about companies looking for more secure and convenient sources here at home.
    Capt. Lindsay Fuller

    1 of NJ's first IGFA Certified Charter Captains.

    Member Beach Haven Charter Fishing Assn.

    June Bug Charters is a BassBarn.com advertiser.

    Cell 609-685-2839
    CaptLindsay@Fish-JuneBug.com
    www.Fish-JuneBug.com

    Life Member of RFA and NRA
    I support the JCAA, IGFA, TBF and DU
    Public Trustee - New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium
    Retired Officer of New Jersey Army National Guard
    Honorary Commander - USCG Atlantic Strike Force

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    Very true. Underwater SPL is very different than in air. However, underwater sound levels travel MUCH farther, or should I say dissipate at a much lower rate with distance, when compared to airborne.

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    Capt Lindsay - thanks for the clarification. I am only basing my "didn't tap anything" comment based on what I read about those rigs being exploratory rigs and not actual pumping rigs.

    I just want to make sure that the seismic testing underwater pulses are examined scientifically and ensure that no damage to our fisheries result.

    The Macondo well is a very extreme example of environmental harm. However, the amounts that BP paid to fix things pale in comparison the costs of repair to the environment and revenues lost in the area. And, when it happened, it was too late to do anything about it. I would just hate to have damage to our fishing grounds with no recourse, if any potential danger/harm could be avoided before it starts. That's all.

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