January 10, 2017 — I was not able to attend Thursday’s New Jersey’s summer flounder public hearing on Summer Flounder Draft Addendum XXVII in Galloway Township.
From what I heard from those who did, it was standing room only and fishermen were outspoken against the proposed cuts to the fishery.
Jim Hutchinson Jr., managing editor of The Fisherman magazine, reported the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council voted for the summer flounder to remain status quo.
However, the decision lies with the regional fishery management bodies, the Mid-Atlantic Marine Fisheries Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. They will most likely vote in February at the Kitty Hawk, North Carolina meeting.
If the cuts are passed, anglers will be facing a 40-percent reduction in the allowable coastwide catch. For New Jersey anglers that could result in a 19-inch size limit and two-fish bag limit. If anglers are lucky, an 18-inch size limit and a three-fish bag limit.
Legislatures are trying to stop the cuts.
A group of New Jersey delegates made up of Democrats Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr, and Senators Robert Menendez and Cory Booker, and Republican Congressmen Frank LoBiondo and Tom MacArthur, blasted the science used by the ASMFC and MAMFC to determine anglers’ catch totals this year in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce.