Competing for space on the increasingly crowded ocean

Fishing boats, Cape May, NJ

WAYNE PARRY / AP / CHICAGO TRIBUNE – Oceans cover nearly three-quarters of the Earth, and it’s getting crowded out on the water.

Energy, shipping, fishing and conservation groups all need space to operate on the world’s oceans, and are bumping up against each other more frequently. All agree the competition is going to increase in coming years.

A conference Tuesday at New Jersey’s Monmouth University brought together industry and environmental groups, who agreed that communication and coordination are essential to sharing the ocean.

“Ocean activity is on the rise, and it’s exponential,” said Timothy Gallaudet, deputy administration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a retired rear admiral with the Navy. “There has been 400% growth in ocean activity over the last 25 years.” …

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