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NJ Marine Fisheries Council Report

Dr Pat Donnelly

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association December 1999 Newsletter)

The Council voted to suspend any further action on tautog, pending the outcome of the ASMFC Annual Meeting. At that meeting, the ASMFC Tautog Board voted to deny NJ the ability to return to its original tautog management plan. The Board felt that the 75% reduction in the commercial landings(when 49% was mandated) , along with limited entry, was not sufficient to meet the ASMFC Plan requirement. However, the Board allowed that NJ could DOUBLE its commercial landings, and scrap the limited entry plan, so long as a season is in place, and would be in compliance. Obviously the first requirement in a fisheries management plan is the suspension of common sense.

The multispecies bill, including the change in the menhaden fishing line, passed unanimously. There had been a great deal of discussion prior to the Council meeting, but there was very little at the time of the vote.

The issue of Sunday clamming has been tossed around at the Council level for some time. This is a situation that must be rectified at the Legislative level, but Council support would be essential for passage of any bill. The Council voted unanimously to support a proposal that would allow Sunday clamming, so long as the State approved funds for a stock assessment. This marks a departure from the partisan acrimony of earlier times on the Council. A letter will be sent to the State Senate in support of this measure.

Upcoming Council Issues

Year 2000 Fluke Regulation: Sizes, Seasons Split Size/Season Commercial Tautog Regs.

License To Sell

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