May 6, 2016 — The following statement was released by Greg DiDomenico, Executive Director of the Garden State Seafood Association, following the passage of the ASMFC motion calling for the president not to declare a marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean:
“The Antiquities Act was perhaps a necessary tool to protect sensitive areas in 1906, but with our increased technological capabilities, knowledge, and an all-encompassing regulatory system, it is an unnecessary and blunt tool for 2016.
The Magnuson–Stevens Act specifically allows for any fishery management plan under the authority of any Council to protect deep-sea corals and other habitat features from physical damage from fishing gear.
It is time that the years of on-the-water experience possessed by the commercial fishing industry be acknowledged, especially in the context of this issue. The intellectual power of the regional Councils, in conjunction with the fishing industry, will result in the most meaningful protections of deep-water corals and habitat while allowing for traditional fishing activity to continue.”
The Garden State Seafood Association is dedicated to sincere and effective representation in order to protect the interests of New Jersey fishermen and New Jersey’s fisheries dependent businesses.