Research Project Along NE Coast Upsetting Local Anglers, Commercial Fishermen

A massive research project in a prime Atlantic fishing ground has local anglers and commercial fishermen up in arms.

From this story in the Gloucester Times:
_The National Science Foundation intends to assemble an array of gliders and autonomous underwater vehicles in a block of water on the continental shelf that is heavily traveled and fished by boats from New England, New York, New Jersey and as far south as the Carolinas. The poorly publicized and poorly attended public hearing on what is known as the Pioneer Array element in the global scale project was held Sept. 8 in New Bedford.

__The extended comment period ends today. Comments may be e-mailed to jmcgover@nsf.gov.

"The fishing industry was taken completely off-guard by this project," said Bonnie Spinazzola, executive director of the Atlantic Offshore Lobstermen's Association, in a letter to the National Science Foundation.

In response to protests about lack of outreach by stakeholder groups, a public meeting has been scheduled for next Tuesday, from 4 to 7 p.m., on the Narragansett Bay campus of the University of Rhode Island to discuss the "micro-siting" of the assets. The Pioneer Array is but one of six robotic and cyber research epicenters planned for ocean waters on both sides of the North American land mass in a $386 million project known as the Ocean Observatories Initiative, aimed at learning how the primal forces of the Earth interact with each other to change the global environment._