At the request of the lobster fishing community, MarineFisheries has scheduled a public meeting to facilitate the exchange of information between fixed gear fishermen and company representatives from TetraTech, the firm that seeks to conduct - this summer - a one-time high resolution sonar survey in the proposed path of the cable using a 110-foot research vessel Sea Lion V. The purpose of this survey is to precisely locate the potential path of the cable that would have the least amount of environmental impacts on benthic habitats including avoiding hard bottom lobster habitat.
All fishermen are invited to attend to learn more about the survey and make suggestions for ways to minimize the impacts to their operation and other local fisheries. The intended path of the survey is approximately 55 miles from southern N.H. around Cape Ann and coming ashore at Lynn and or Revere. The “corridor” that Tetra Tech seeks to keep free of vertical buoy lines would be less than 1,000 feet wide.
Plans are being made to make every effort to communicate the progress of the survey by marking the corridor with the use of high flyers and then work through industry representatives to communicate with the public about when the ship will arrive and provide frequent updates about its progress. The preliminary plan is to divide the survey into 4 sections and survey each section in sequence. Each section is expected to take 7-10 days for completion.
Given the location of the intended survey track, most of the fixed gear fishing taking place in the area will be lobster trawls and gillnets. MarineFisheries has recommended some possible solutions including a temporary allowance for the removal of one of the two end lines that mark the trawl within the corridor. Once the vessel has completed a given section, fishing could resume as normal.
A two-page summary of the project can be viewed by clicking here: Proposed Submarine Transmission Cable Marine Survey in Massachusetts Bay - July/August
MarineFisheries will continue to facilitate the discussion between fishermen and the company representatives. In the end we hope for a practical and convenient solution to provide buoy-line free waters and facilitate this brief but important survey.
Also visit the MarineFisheries website at: www.mass.gov/marinefisheries. Additional documents may be posted during the week of July 1st.