DEC urges commercial fishermen to take part in Long Island Sound survey

Those engaged in commercial fishing in eastern Long Island Sound are asked to participate anonymously in a survey, the results of which will be factored into "the potential designation of a dredged material disposal site," the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Wednesday.

The online survey, open through Dec. 25, is being conducted by Tetra Tech Inc. on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help "characterize fisheries and lobster habitat" for the EPA's "preparation of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the potential designation of one or more dredged material disposal sites in eastern Long Island Sound," the survey said.

Periodic dredging is considered essential to ensure safe navigation and facilitate marine commerce, environmental officials say.

On its website, the EPA says the agency "believes it's preferable to dispose of dredged material in only a few discrete locations so that it can be more easily managed and monitored to reduce potential adverse impacts on the surrounding marine environment."

Questions in the survey touch on areas that include species targeted, type of gear used, areas fished, and changes in the nature of catch.

Those who engage in commercial fishing in Block Island and Rhode Island sounds are also encouraged to participate.

The survey is found at www.fluidsurveys.com/s/lobstersurvey/

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