Fishermen React to the Possibility of Seismic Testing in the Atl - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fishermen React to the Possibility of Seismic Testing in the Atlantic

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(Graphic: American Petroleum Institute) (Graphic: American Petroleum Institute)

OCEAN CITY, Md.- The Trump administration is looking into permits that would allow seismic air guns to be used in the Atlantic Ocean for offshore drilling, and it has some local fishermen worried.

These air guns are used to locate oil reserves miles beneath the ocean floor.

Compressed air is released during this process which in turn, generates a loud noise. Ocean City fisherman, Capt. Monty Hawkins, said this noise could be extremely detrimental to marine life.

"It absolutely drives all the fish away in a couple mile radius drives...all the fish away and now, not all fish can leave," Hawkins said.

Capt. Mark Sampson agreed that the fish can be harmed from this process, but also said he isn't completely opposed to offshore drilling.

"I'm certainly in favor of exploration of our offshore resources. Whether it be oil or whatever but it has to be done carefully because we can't necessarily look at exploiting one resource at the detriment of the other," Sampson said.

Matt Heim from the Assateague Coastal Trust said these air guns have never been used in the Atlantic before. Heim added these surveys could start by the end of this year if everything goes as planned with the permitting process.

This testing would occur along Delaware all the way down to the central Florida coast.

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