NJ ocean blasting research completed; court action halted

 Rutgers scientists plan to create a 3D image of the sea bed off the coast of NJ. (Image: University of Tromsø)

Rutgers scientists plan to create a 3D image of the sea bed off the coast of NJ. (Image: University of Tromsø)

Seismic testing that involved blasting the ocean floor off the New Jersey shore with sound waves has been completed, and a lawsuit brought against it by fishing groups has been dismissed.

Five fishing groups had sued to stop the research, led by Rutgers University and involving the National Science Foundation, and the University of Texas, claiming it disturbs and possibly harms marine life including dolphins, whales, turtles and many fish species.

But in a joint court filing Wednesday, both sides acknowledged that the testing had been completed on Monday, and that a restraining order shutting it down is no longer needed.

A separate lawsuit brought by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection challenging the way the project was approved remains active.

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