March 2, 2017 — It’s not clear how much Wilbur L. Ross Jr. knows about fishing or the complex world of marine regulations.
But members of New Jersey’s congressional delegation hope Ross, who was sworn in as secretary of commerce Tuesday, will step into an intense fight over summer flounder catch guidelines.
The delegation wasted no time in appealing to Ross, who now oversees the agencies tasked with regulating the fishing industry. A bipartisan letter sent Tuesday and signed by 12 New Jersey lawmakers, including both U.S. senators and U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-2nd, asked the former billionaire businessman to considering putting approved flounder reductions on hold.
Last month, a federal regulatory commission voted in favor of an option to cut fluke limits for recreational and commercial fishermen by 28 percent to 32 percent for 2017.
Example measures presented in the approved document suggest recreational limits for keepers could be set to three fish at 19 inches in the Atlantic Ocean and three at 18 inches in the Delaware Bay for a 128-day season.