FISHERIES MANAGEMENT & LEGISLATIVE REPORT
by Tom Fote
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association May 2000 Newsletter)
The bills to bring New Jersey into compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is still waiting for vote by the full Assembly. The Assembly has not had a voting session in over a month and we have not been able to convince Assembly Speaker Jack Collins to do so. The next assembly voting session is scheduled for May 11. The Governor said she will sign the bill as soon as the assembly votes on it. Please contact Assembly Speaker Jack Collins and let him know that you want this bill moved.
Assembly Speaker Jack Collins
Suite C, 63 East Avenue
Woodstown, NJ 08098-1499
Phone: (856) 769-3633 Fax: (856-769-0049
E-MAIL ADDRESS: AsmCollins@njleg.state.nj.us
The Postcard or "Bonus" fish could always have been your first fish and still can but no one does that. In 1999 this was because you only needed to use a card if you wanted to take home a THIRD fish. Therefore, if you only caught one or two keepers under the 1999 regulations, there was no need to file one.
If you like, you can burn a postcard on a fish greater than 28 inches if its caught as your only keeper that day but this makes no sense. You can also burn a postcard on your 28+ inch keeper when you caught only two keeper-size fish that day and the other is a 24-28 incher but that also makes no sense because youre allowed these two fish without the Postcard program. If everyone burned postcards when they dont have two 28+ inch fish in their possession at the end of the day, the quota could be met quickly and the Bonus program will be terminated early forcing all of us back to 2 fish per day (a 24-28 incher and a 28+) using the slot system.
As we are going to print the dates and locations of the hearing locations are still being worked on. Call the Division of Fish & Wildlife (1609-292-2083) to find out the exact time and place. JCAA will be emailing this information out as soon as we receive it.
Alexandria, Virginia - The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commissions Striped Bass Management Board yesterday approved the Public Information Document (PID) for Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Striped Bass for public review and comment. It is anticipated that most Atlantic coastal states from Maine through North Carolina will hold at least one public hearing on the PID, with meetings being scheduled for mid-May. Details on these meetings will be released once all the meetings have been finalized.
Approval of the PID is the first step in developing Amendment 6. The purpose of the PID is to seek public input on the long-term management of Atlantic coast striped bass stocks. Currently, striped bass is managed under Amendment 5 to the Interstate FMP for Atlantic Striped Bass which was developed to provide overall guidance and policy to the management of a recovered striped bass resource. Its goals include: preventing overfishing; maintaining a sustainable spawning stock biomass,achieving equitable management measures among jurisdictions, and identifying critical habitats. Over the last several years, a series of addenda have been developed and implemented to detail annual management measures. This process has resulted in increasing frustration on the part of fishery managers, scientists and fishermen - frustration based on not only the lack of consistency in state management measures from year to year, but also the desire for an improved quality fishery and concerns about increased fishing pressure on larger striped bass. Amendment 6 is being developed to address the above concerns, as well as other long-term scientific, management and policy issues.
The next step is to schedule public information meetings in all interested states. Following the initial stage of information gathering and public comment, the Management Board will evaluate potential management alternatives and the impacts of those alternatives. The Board will then develop a draft amendment to the FMP with the preferred management measures identified for public review. Following that review and public comment, the Board will specify the management measures to be included in the new amendment.
Copies of the Striped Bass PID will be available on April 14, 2000, and can be obtained by either contacting Vanessa Jones, Administrative Assistant, at (202) 289-6400, or via the Commissions webpage under "Public Input" at www.asmfc.org. Comments should be forwarded to Robert Beal, Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at 1444 Eye Street, N.W., Sixth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005; (202)289-6051 (fax). For more information, please contact Robert Beal at (202) 289-6400, ext 318.
I have been invited by Congressman James Saxton to testify before the Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans at a hearing on April 28, 2000, at 10:00 AM in Room 119 (the Freeholders Board Room) of the Ocean County Administration Building, 101 Hooper Ave., Toms River, New Jersey. The purpose of the hearing is the Reauthorization of the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 1851 note). The Subcommittee is interested in hearing testimony regarding the need to reauthorize this Act as well as related fishery statutes. Topics of particular interest include the authorities of the Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service for managing Atlantic striped bass, results of the research and stock assessment studies mandated in the law, management of Atlantic striped bass under Addendum IV of the striped bass fishery management plan, ways to improve harvest statistics and catch reporting, and the moratorium on striped bass fishing in the U.S_ Exclusive Economic Zone.
I have not written my testimony yet but one of the topics I will be discussing is giving the states the power to regulate striped bass out to twelve miles.