NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Federal lawmakers in New Jersey have called for a ban on fossil fuel exploration in the Atlantic Ocean.

As WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini reported, the bill would ban seismic testing off the Atlantic Coast.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) said seismic testing, a process to search for natural gases underwater, is a precursor to offshore drilling.

“It’s like having explosions outside your house,” he said. “Imagine that happening over and over. You know the damage that would do to your ears, your hearing, your well-being.”

Booker said that is what the tests do to marine life, which in turn negatively impacts the New Jersey commercial fishing industry.

“They can reduce the catch upwards of 40 to 50 percent,” he said.

The federal government recently banned offshore drilling in the Atlantic until 2022.