Trawl survey begins near wind farm cable landing site

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A trawl survey to document fish populations around the future South Fork Windfarm export cable route is due to begin today.

A study commissioned by East Hampton city administrators of fish migration near the South Fork Windfarm export cable landing site is scheduled to begin today and last about a week.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program will conduct a bottom trawl survey from Smith Point Inlet in the town of Brookhaven to Montauk Point. The survey aims to provide a consistent sampling of fish and invertebrates both in the area around the export cable landing site – the ocean beach at the end of Beach Lane in Wainscott – and in a control area West. The data will document fish populations and inform the environmental review process to minimize construction impacts on fisheries, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension.

A trawl is carried out for 20 minutes at 3 knots, representing a distance of about one kilometer, John Aldred of the trustees told his colleagues on Monday. There will be 20 trawls carried out in the affected area and 20 in the control area, he said.

A notice from Cornell Cooperative says that those conducting the investigation will do everything possible to minimize inconvenience to mobile and fixed gear anglers. The survey vessel, called Bulldog, “will cruise along the route without towing a net looking for evidence of fixed gear – gillnets or traps – that may be along the tow line before they cast off actually net and do the towing,” Mr. Aldred said.

Anglers, particularly fixed gear anglers, were asked to contact Alex Mercado at 516-590-5678 or [email protected] to inform Cornell Cooperative Extension of the position of their machine in the study area.

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