February 6, 2017 — It didn’t take long after the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted to slash summer flounder harvest quotas for the rumblings of anglers calling for New Jersey to defy the regulations to pick up.
The ASMFC ordered the harvest cut by 40-percent based on science that indicates the fish is declining in abundance and survey data that reports anglers overreached their quotas last year.
The science and angling surveys are at the center of the issue. Many lawmakers in New Jersey and its environmental chief have expressed concern about its accuracy because it relies on random sampling.
“We understand the long-term impacts of overfishing a species. But we also know for a fact that fluke are abundant and the population is stable off New Jersey,” said Bob Martin, the Commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection