A 68-foot trawler was sunk off Wednesday and a 115-foot surf clam vessel will be sent to the bottom of the ocean Friday as part of a renewed effort to build artificial reefs off the New Jersey coast, New Jersey On-Line reports
Built in 1956 in Tampa, Florida the Austin was originally used as a shrimp boat that fished the Gulf of Mexico. The Austin is now at the ocean floor nearly 4.4 miles off the Manasquan Inlet as part of the Axel Carlson Reef, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.
The 115-foot surf clam vessel, Lisa Kim, is scheduled to be sunk as part of the Wildwood Reef, 8.3 miles northeast of Cape May Inlet this Friday, weather permitting.
Austin deployment The boats are among as many as 10 vessels the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife plans to deploy by the end of fall.
After a hiatus of nearly five years, three vessels were deployed over the summer. The sinking of these vessels was made possible by an agreement reached by the Christie Administration regarding access to reefs by recreational and commercial fishing interests that resulted in restored federal funding for the artificial reef program.