SAFMC Fishermen's Forum

Full Version: Seismic Testing
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I recently attended a meeting in Morehead City about seismic testing for oil and gas deposits off our coast. It looks like at least five oil companies have requested permits for each of them to do their own confidential seismic tests. My comments boiled down to asking if NC or NOAA could map oil and gas deposits once using the safest methods and make those results public so everyone knows exactly what we are dealing with. 

What does the SAFMC think about this idea?
(08-11-2017, 07:19 AM)freefish7 Wrote: [ -> ]I recently attended a meeting in Morehead City about seismic testing for oil and gas deposits off our coast. It looks like at least five oil companies have requested permits for each of them to do their own confidential seismic tests. My comments boiled down to asking if NC or NOAA could map oil and gas deposits once using the safest methods and make those results public so everyone knows exactly what we are dealing with. 

What does the SAFMC think about this idea?

The Council's present position opposes seismic testing in managed areas.

This is a quote from a letter from Council Chair Michelle Duval to the Secretary of the Interior:

“The Council, considering the multi-million dollar recreational and commercial fisheries in
our region that would be affected by seismic testing, continues to recommend that seismic
surveys not be conducted in areas that will impact EFH and especially areas designated as EFH-Habitat
Areas of Particular Concern. These areas include but are not limited to deep-water
snapper grouper Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), Special Management Zones and recently
approved Spawning Special Management Zones, tilefish EFH- HAPC, other snapper grouper
EFH-HAPCS including but not limited to the Georgetown Hole EFH-HAPC, Hoyt Hills EFHHAPC,
Deep-water Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (CHAPCs), and the Oculina Bank
Habitat Area of Particular Concern which encompasses the Oculina Experimental Closed Area”
 
It looks like just saying no to seismic testing will not be enough to stop it. NMFS is under extreme pressure to approve the five IHPs that would allow seismic testing. We should think about asking NMFS to deny those permits in favor of one for NOAA to map our offshore oil and gas deposits using the safest methods and make those results public. One round of open and transparent testing done in the safest way possible is a better option than five separate confidential tests. We need to consider that the President could use an Executive Order to allow testing if NMFS does not approve any IHP.