MARCO Needs Recreational Angler Input
On January 29th I attended the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) meeting in Dewey Beach. I have been going to these meetings since the start of this planning committee. Some of you have heard of this before and many have not. There is a Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal that recreational anglers need to help fill out to show the active fishing areas. This is important so areas with heavy fishing activity and marine life will be avoided by industry such as wind farms. As much as I hate to see industry show up in the Atlantic ocean some of this is inevitable. Wind farms I don’t have a problem with except their location, however drilling for gas and oil I do, but that is my opinion. Anyway, at this latest meeting I pointed out that the reason MARCO has not seen much data from recreational anglers is people do not want to give up their fishing spots to a public Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal. Fortunately your information will be anonymous I have been told. If an area is marked as a hot spot for fishing activity then industry will be advised to stay out of that area. MARCO has no authority they are merely a data collecting committee and make recommendations. As a friend of mine pointed out a data portal is only as good as the data that it contains. I helped filled out the portal last year at a meeting with the Surfrider foundation and Delmarva Board Sports. DNREC has filled in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal as much as they can for many areas.
However that is just one person and two organizations and one business. It will take many more people to fill in this data portal to show areas that have heavy activity to keep industry out of them. John McMurray wrote a great article covering this process and why we need to protect our go to fishing spots. You can take a video tour how to fill out the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal. I urge you, I beg you to help fill this out, because if we do not show these folks where we like to fish the most, one day something might be on top of your favorite piece of hard bottom and you won’t be allowed near it. I am still waiting for an answer from the BOEM as to how close you can get to a wind farm or an oil rig. Many people think these will be fishable structures and in some cases they will help. A wind farm would be great structure in a the long-term to help create more fauna in the ocean, but you might not (most likely will not) be allowed anywhere near it. I don’t want to see anyone drilling for oil or gas and there is a big misconception from area anglers about these structures. These are not traditional derrick oil rigs like in the gulf, they would be floating cities with anchors and large engines to keep them in place in hundreds of feet of water. Below is the letter sent out to everyone who attended the meeting with links to the presentation we all saw … it is long, kind if involved, even a tad boring, but worth the time to check it out and decide for yourself if you want to help. If you don’t take the time now to help with this data portal you may lose out down the road and there will be no going back.
Hello Ocean interested parties,
MARCO would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your interest in the Forum on Ocean Assessment and Data Syntheses Products held in Dewey Beach, DE on January 29th. We hope that you found it informative, and we appreciated your questions and feedback. As a follow-up we are providing links to video recordings of the presentations from the Forum. Please feel free to share these links with anyone interested.
Overview of Ocean Planning: https://vimeo.com/midatlanticocean/oceanplanning
In case you prefer an alternate platform to access this videos, they are also available on
the MARCO YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeF52kJ9iLhZ2KMVF2RotNg
MARCO Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/midatlanticocean/videos