COMMENTS ON THE SEA BASS
FISHERY MANAGEMENT PLAN
By Pat Donnelly
(from Jersey Coast Anglers
Association - May
- Most anglers are concerned that the escape
vents in the fish pots are not large enough to permit
fish under 9" to escape.
- Black Sea bass are another component of
the live fish market. This may be the appropriate time to
regulate this clandestine fishery.
- The FMP calls for a discussion of Special
Management Zones (SMZ) around artificial reef areas.
These reefs are built mainly through tax dollars
generated from the recreational industry. By no means
should anglers be pushed off them by fish/lobster pots.
- There is currently legislation pending
which would ban the use of commercial gear deemed
environmentally destructive. This may be the time to
examine the effect of roller gear, as it is a primary
component of both the inshore and offshore fisheries.
- The offshore mixed trawl fishery is not
species specific. The landings include everything from
sea bass, to squid, to lobsters. The reported bycatch
mortality is 100%. The FMP calls for mesh size
restrictions as a means of reducing bycatch. Due to the
depth of the area, long trawls are the norm of this
fishery. The cod-end mesh restriction may limit the
bycatch retention in the short haul, but its
effectiveness over time is debatable. The commercial
quota, in which this dead bycatch is included, may be an
appropriate way to quantify this fishery. To allow this
bycatch situation to continue, is to validate this
Dr. Pat Donnelly is a member of the
Manasquan Fishing club and is the Chairman of the JCAA