Supporter

Capt. John McMurray

Owner, One More Cast Charters, Inc.

‘If you’ve spent any real time offshore, you know that some spots are more “fishy” than others. To any fishermen worth his/her salt, that’s just a given. Often, a spot’s productivity is due to hard-bottom, structure or rapid depth changes. But other times, for no particular reason we are aware of, some areas seem to hold “life” more consistently than others. By life I mean anything and everything: turtles, whales, dolphin, sand eels, squids, etc… All the stuff we look for when trying to determine whether or not tuna, mahi, billfish, stripers, bluefish or any other fish that we might want to target could be around.

 

As the coastal population continues to boom, and the ever-increasing demand for energy continues, we’ll likely see, within our lifetimes, ocean development at a scale that’s almost hard to imagine. The overarching point though is that ocean use is rapidly increasing, and it needs to be addressed on a high level, first of all to minimize the ocean use conflicts that will inevitably arise, but perhaps more importantly, to avoid adverse ecosystem impacts.

 

So a major focus of ocean planning right now is the development of a stronger base of information to make well-informed decisions on what’s appropriate where.

 

We don’t want to put a wind farm on top of a coral community. Yes, the science on these things is probably not perfect – and, in fact, more data on fisheries will be needed as we continue to improve our maps into the future – but this is a huge first step, and we need to take advantage of this opportunity. Ocean use is increasing, and decisions are made every day about where and how to develop. We certainly can’t wait and let “the perfect be the enemy of the good.” We need to act on what we have and know now to make sure some of these places continue to exist.’

 

Learn more about Captain John McMurray and One More Cast Charters here, and read more about the significance of ocean planning for the fishing community here.


 

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Why We Need Ocean Planning

The ocean and coasts are active places, and we’re putting more demands on them every day. Think about it: traditional uses such as fishing, boating, shipping, recreation, and tourism are all changing and expanding, and at the same time we’re pioneering new industries alongside them like wind energy and sand mining. Ocean planning is about thinking ahead and planning for how to make it all work. Otherwise, we put the ocean’s vast, yet fragile, resources at risk. Voluntary ocean planning allows us to coordinate all these uses in a way that benefits our economy, our communities, and ocean health. Ocean planning is a science-based and data-driven process that provides a tool for people and government to work together, share information and solve problems in a way that works for everyone. Ocean planning helps to identify and resolve potential conflicts early on, helping decision makers and stakeholders in both the private and public sectors do their jobs better. This creates better outcomes for everyone, supporting a healthy ocean and vibrant economy

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