January 19, 2017 — A South Jersey lawmaker introduced a bill Tuesday that would urge the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to halt proposed reductions to this year’s summer flounder catch.
Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, D-Atlantic, introduced a resolution asking NOAA to conduct a new summer flounder assessment before implementing the proposed regulations, which would cut the flounder catch by 40 percent.
The reduction plan was advanced at a Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting last month but has been roundly condemned by recreational fishermen and prominent state leaders, including U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd.
Federal officials say the cuts are necessary because a recent NOAA report concluded the flounder fishery is overfished.
Recreational fishermen at a hearing earlier this month in Galloway Township questioned NOAA’s methods for measuring flounder, and Mazzeo’s resolution, a draft of which was sent to The Press of Atlantic City, asks the agency to take another look at the stock.