CENTRAL NEW JERSEY FISHING NEWS - March 9, 2013
On March 7, the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council set the 2013 Summer Flounder (Fluke) season from May 18 through September 16 with a 17Â½-inch minimum size and a five-fish bag limit.
At 122 days, this is 25 less fishing days than last year's season of 147 days. The minimum size and bag limits are unchanged from last year.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission lowered the east coast Summer Flounder harvest blaming there is a decline in spawning stock.
This is where it gets counter-intuitive… In spite of an unfulfilled east coast quota last year, New Jersey's season was cut because New Jersey anglers caught more than the state's
quota of summer flounder last year. New York anglers will also face a cut for the same reason. This is crazy!
There is hyper-concern about going over quota by the fisheries management bureaucrats, but if anything, angler participation will be way down this year because of all of the damage to marinas and boats by Hurricane Sandy.
The Black Sea Bass fishery closed on February 28 in federal and state waters. Black Sea Bass were as thick as bees on the offshore trips. It didn't matter which boat you went on - fabulous up-and-down fishing and limit catches all around. Now we have to wait for the fisheries bureaucrats to let anglers know what the rest of 2013 will bring and the feds have already said there will not be a January/February opening in 2014.
February 28 was also Jane Lubchenko's last day as NOAA's Chief Administrator. Described as an intellectually dishonest environmental zealot and enemy of the fishing industry, many commercial and recreational fishermen across the U.S. will remember her anti-fishing agenda and "trail of destruction" for many years to come. Her dubious accolades during her four-year term include a catch share scam, fisheries law enforcement dysfunction, pushing the agenda of the Environmental Defense Fund, a job-killing agenda, grossly
failed policies, a contemptuous attitude toward fishermen and a noteworthy lack of empathy. In spite of this, she's found a cushy job at Stamford University. We hope those folks at Stamford know what they're getting into.
MIKE'S MARITIME MEMORABILIA Department:
It's cold outside and cabin fever is running rampant, but our Winter Edition of vintage fishing and boating photographs
on our Mike's Maritime Memorabilia pages will help you get through. The eighteen wonderful photographs in the collection date from 1911 through 1985 and all are guaranteed to warm you up.
Our photo gallery has a lot of new features. You can now search for photos and easily e-mail copies of our photos to your friends. The gallery now runs well on tablets and supports gestures, and there are links for Facebook and Twitter.
You can also change the viewing size of photos and there is a slideshow feature. We think you'll like it a lot.
One last thing, the link to Mike's Maritime Memorabilia has changed, so be sure to bookmark the new one...
We are now displaying more than 1,400 vintage photos of party fishing boats, fishing memorabilia, marinas,
lightships, lighthouses and other interesting stuff from the New Jersey/New York saltwater fishing scene on our
Mike's Maritime Memorabilia pages. We encourage you to browse these wonderful pictures and enjoy
over 145 years of our fishing heritage.
December 26, 2012 - SEA BASS FISHERY UPDATE
On December 21, 2012, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife announced that the recreational Black Sea Bass fishery will be open in NJ state waters from January 1 through February 28, 2013. http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/news/2012/bsb-shad_regs12-12.htm
On December 26, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the season for recreational Black Sea Bass fishing in New York state waters through February 28, 2013. http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/12262012Black-Sea-Bass
The NJ and NY openings matches the one recently made by the feds for offshore waters with a bag limit of 15 fish per angler and a 12Â½-inch minimum size.
So here is where we are now with Federal, NJ and NY Black Sea Bass regulations for 2013...
January/February – 15 fish per angler and a 12Â½-inch minimum size
Rest of Year – To Be Determined
CHRISTMAS GIFTS Department: Yes, recreational fishermen, there is a Santa Claus!
Christmas Gift #1 - At a joint meeting of MAFMC and the ASMFC Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board in Baltimore, MD on December 13, 2012, the feds decided to OPEN the BLACK SEA BASS SEASON DURING JANUARY and FEBRUARY 2013!
The offshore Sea Bass season will be open from January 1 through February 28 with a bag limit of 15 fish per angler and a 12Â½-inch minimum size.
It's likely a bittersweet Christmas gift since the feds also said that there will NOT be a January/February Sea Bass season in 2014. In addition, the December 2013 Sea Bass season is up in the air and may not happen.
Christmas Gift #2 - On December 12, 2012, NOAA's Chief Administrator, Jane Lubchenko announced that she will be leaving the agency at the
end of February to return to her family on the West Coast and academia. Who knows what the real reason for her departure is since as recently as October, Lubchenko said she would stay on at NOAA for another four years if Obama was re-elected. Most commercial and recreational fishermen have been clamoring for her removal almost from the beginning of her tenure at NOAA because of her close ties to anti-fishing groups. Thank you Jane for a wonderful
Christmas gift and good riddance!
November 1, 2012 – HURRICANE SANDY: HELP THOSE IN NEED
Hurricane Sandy hit and destroyed entire coastal communities in New Jersey and New York and there are plenty of folks that need our help. Please make a charitable donation to provide shelter, food, water and clothing to those that have nothing left but their names.
October 26, 2012 - SEA BASS FISHERY UPDATE
The following update is from charter boat Captain and Chairman of the New Jersey Chapter of the RFA, Adam Nowalsky.
"As you no doubt know by now, NMFS shut down the Sea Bass fishery in federal waters for the remainder of the CALENDAR year (through December 31.)
Again, this applies to federal waters. The ASMFC met yesterday (10/25) to discuss state waters issues. The motion, as expected, came up that would recommend states take whatever action possible to close state waters to fishing for the remainder of the year. That motion was narrowly defeated in a 5 in favor / 6 against vote. Individual states, if they so desire, can of course take unilateral action to close state waters on their own. But they are not under
mandate by the ASMFC as a result of yesterday's actions."
"Next season, including the January/February offshore season remains in limbo. Questions remain about when to deduct overages, they may not come out until 2014. We will next get more info about 2013 in late November heading into the middle of December."
"The RFA continues to work with managers on ensuring anglers have access to a fully rebuilt resource that is not overfished and does not have overfishing occurring. Efforts continue as well on the political end to address the needed Magnuson changes that have resulted in being in this position as well as working to get needed science improvements expedited."
October 24, 2012 – The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Posts Ruling Regarding the November and December SEA BASS FISHERY.
Effective Date: November 1, 2012
BLACK SEA BASS FISHERY CLOSED
"The 2012 Black Sea Bass recreational harvest limit has been reached. Effective 0001 hours, November 1, 2012, no one may fish for or possess Black Sea Bass in Federal waters for the remainder of the 2012 calendar year, unless issued a commercial moratorium permit and fishing commercially. This closure also applies to vessels issued a Federal party/charter permit fishing in state waters."
The following article from charter boat Captain and Chairman of the New Jersey Chapter of the RFA,
Adam Nowalsky, sums up the situation.
October 19, 2012 – "The Mid-Atlantic Council met this week in Long Branch (NJ), and in yesterday's report from the Northeast Office (NMFS), it was announced that the Feds were pursuing an emergency closure of the Black Sea Bass fishery in federal waters for the remainder of 2012. This is a result of the 2012 landings
through August are at 2.3 million lbs. and our coastwide quota for 2012 was less than 1.4 million lbs."
"This closure comes partially as a result of the Council Omnibus Amendment from a couple years back. If not for the fight lead by the RFA at that time, this closure would have likely been levied much earlier this year. But NMFS had to wait until landings exceeded the year's target as opposed to just basing things on
projections. (August data showed that 1.1 million lbs. had been caught in May and June. Projecting that out would have likely resulted in emergency closure action being pursued at that time.)"
"So where to now? Well, next week the states will be meeting in Philadelphia, and on Thursday, a discussion of a closure of state waters will no doubt occur
(ASMFC Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass Management Board). A few years back the states did not close state waters when NMFS closed Federal waters, but the result of this discussion may be different this time in consideration of the ramifications for 2013."
"Part of the above referenced Omnibus Amendment calls for recreational lb.-for-lb. payback of overages. Overages are supposed to be averaged over a 3 year
period, but this is the first year operating under this system so we only have one year of data. The math, although straightforward, is ugly. 2.3 million lbs. landed through August. September and half of October fishing occurred. 3+ million lbs. of landings according to MRFSS/MRIP is very possible. If we land 3.2
million lbs. (numbers to be reported in December), we will have exceeded our 2012 quota by 1.8 million lbs. (3.2 million lbs. of landings vs. 1.4 million lb. harvest limit, these are approximations). Our 2013 quota is 1.8 million lbs. Deduct a 1.8 million lb. 2012 overage from a 1.8 million lb. 2013 quota and we are left with - NOTHING FOR 2013."
"Right now, I don't know what this means for Jan/Feb Sea Bass fishing. Currently, the federal rule has the season open then and the state of NJ has done its diligence in being ready to open the season. But as a result of the above, the closure may extend well into 2013. We won't know until NMFS publishes its notice of emergency action in the next couple of weeks."
"While I can't guarantee anything, I can assure you that a lot of people will be working overtime on this, not just at the RFA, but I believe the Council and NMFS recognize that this outcome is unacceptable for a rebuilt stock where overfishing is not occurring. (Remember, overfishing by definition doesn't have to do with
the quota but is instead of a measure of taking too many fish for the stock to remain sustainable. The Black Sea Bass overfishing limit is actually well over 7 million lbs. Although that number has uncertainty around it, even when you add the high rec landings with the commercial landings, we are still well below the overfishing level.)"
"In addition to working with the Council and NMFS, RFA will also be working hard on political fronts as this is just further ammunition of the threat to fishing that an unreformed Magnuson Stevens Act poses. Thanks to all of you, and I hope that we'll have something better to report in the coming months. We needed a
miracle to save the Sea Bass season a few years ago and we got one. This mess wasn't created overnight, and it won't be fixed overnight. Here's hoping again."
"Feel free to call to discuss, 609-618-0366, leave a message if I don't pick up."
Captain Adam Nowalsky
35' Downeaster KAREN ANN II
Sailing from Atlantic City, www.acfishingcharters.com
Chairman, RFA-NJ (www.rfanj.org)
Recreational and Commercial Fishermen Rallied in Washington, DC on March 21, 2012
In another show of solidarity, American recreational and commercial fishermen gathered beside the U.S. Capitol building on WEDNESDAY MARCH 21, 2012 in a mass demonstration to push for amending the primary law that
directs the regulation of America's fisheries. The rally once again united commercial and recreational sectors under one common message:
REFORM MAGNUSON-STEVENS NOW
Forty-three speakers addressed a somber, but passionate crowd of 2,000 Saltwater Anglers, Charter & Party Boat Captains, Marine Business Owners, Commercial Fishermen and related industry workers. Twenty-one of the speakers were U.S. Senators and Congressmen and they expressed dismay with the deplorable way NOAA operates and the need to reform the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act through flexibility and better science. Many speakers including Congressmen
Barney Frank and John Tierney as well as Senator Scott Brown, called for the removal of NOAA's Chief Administrator, Jane Lubchenko. New York Senator Charles Schumer pledged an all-out effort to get a hearing "this year" for his legislation to make clear that rebuilding overfished stocks need not be forced into the 10-year window mandated by the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
CLICK HERE TO SEE RALLY PHOTOS
Signed into law in 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) has been transformed in recent years from its original intent of conserving our nation's fish and supporting our nation's fishermen, to a weapon used by anti-fishing groups to drive fishermen off the water. The Act's rigid and
inflexible statutory timelines for recovery of fish stocks foster highly restrictive fisheries regulations and a hotly disputed fisheries management effort to privatize the seas (a public commodity) through individualized transferrable quotas (catch shares).
A rally on February 24, 2010, under a United We Fish banner, brought some 5,000 recreational, commercial and party/charter vessel owners and folks in
associated businesses from all three coasts and Alaska to Washington. More than two dozen members of the Senate and the House of Representatives took time out from their busy schedules to address the crowd. This rally helped put the plight of America's coastal fisherman and those in related businesses in the public eye.
However, a continuous stream of regulatory requirements has since led to unnecessary and unacceptable restrictions in demonstrably sustainable fisheries. As a consequence, the American public is being denied access to the food and fun of this tremendous natural resource. Most U.S. fisheries are in better shape
biologically than they've been for a generation or more. Last year NOAA Fisheries scientists announced that 84% of U.S. fish stocks studied for fishing activity were not experiencing overfishing as of 2010.
As was the case in 2010, the truly conservation-minded fishermen will be the people who are at the rally on their own dime and who are committed to returning
to a federal fisheries management system that recognizes that they and the fishing communities they support are as important as the fish.
Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.
KEEP FISHERMAN FISHING RALLY in WASHINGTON, DC on MARCH 21st
The MARCH 21 KEEP FISHERMEN FISHING RALLY started at noon and ran until 3:00 PM at the UPPER SENATE PARK adjacent to the U.S. Capitol building.
On the east coast, BUSES TO THE RALLY arrived from Brielle NJ, Wildwood NJ, Atlantic Highlands NJ, Brooklyn NY, Pt. Lookout NY, Montauk NY, Stonington CT, North Kingston RI, New Bedford MA, Ocean Isle Beach NC, Georgetown SC,
Myrtle Beach SC, Savannah GA and Panama City FL.
For more information on the rally,
You can also stay up to date with rally developments via "Keep Fishermen Fishing" on Facebook and Twitter.
"Keep Fishermen Fishing" is an ad hoc group of commercial, recreational and party/charter fishermen and the businesses they support. Rally organizers include the Recreational Fishing Alliance, Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund, United Boatmen, National Association of Charterboat Operators, New York Fishing Tackle Trades Association, Garden State Seafood Association, Viking Village, Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, Hull Seafood, Westport Charterboat Association, North Carolina Watermen United, Southeastern Fisheries Association, Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association, Monkfish Defense Fund, Lund's Seafood, Atlantic Capes Seafood, Panama City Boatmen's Association, Morro Bay Commercial Fishermen's Association, Fishermen's Dock, Southern Offshore Fishing Association, Montauk Inlet Seafood, Alliance of Communities For Sustainable Fisheries, Garibaldi Charters, Rivercenter Marine, Big Game Fishing Journal, New York Sportfishing Federation, West Coast Seafood Processors Association, Lower Columbia Alliance for Sustainable Fisheries, Ocean Isle Fishing Center, Tailwalker Marine, Fishing United, Raffields Fisheries, Patriot Sportfishing, American Albacore Fishing Association, Montauk Boatmen’s & Captains Association, Viking Yachts.
Signed into law in 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) has been transformed in recent years from its original intent of conserving our nation's fish and supporting our nation's
fishermen, to a weapon used by anti-fishing groups to drive fishermen off the water. The Act's rigid and inflexible statutory timelines for recovery of fish stocks foster highly restrictive fisheries regulations and a hotly disputed fisheries management effort to privatize the seas (a public commodity) through individualized transferrable quotas (catch shares).
There are several bills to amend the Magnuson-Stevens Act pending in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S.
Senate that are supported by commercial and recreational fishing interests, contested by Environmental Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs), and deemed unnecessary by NOAA/NMFS. We suggest you familiarize yourself with them – they greatly impact the future of commercial and recreational angling in America.
H.R. 3061 – Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2011
The Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act, a bill sponsored in the House by Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and in the Senate by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) would incorporate some flexibility into the federal fisheries law (Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act) to provide commercial and recreational anglers more open access to rebuilt and rebuilding fisheries. Both bills are gaining
traction in the House and Senate, but anti-fishing environmental preservationist groups are fighting tooth and nail against any changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
For a third time on September 23, 2011, Congressman Frank Pallone
(D-NJ) and other lawmakers introduced H.R. 3061 entitled 'Flexibility and Access in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2011'. Congressional cosponsors of H.R. 3061 are: Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Donna Christensen (D-VI), Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Barney Frank (D-MA), Michael G. Grimm (R-NY), Colleen W. Hanabusa (D-HI), Walter Jones (R-NC), Peter King (R-NY), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ),
Tim Scott (R-SC), Steve Southerland (R-FL), John Tierney (D-MA) and Robert L. Turner (R-NY).
Language contained in H.R. 3061 amends the Magnuson-Stevens Act and essentially gives the U.S. Secretary of Commerce the discretion to adjust rebuilding timeframes if specific criteria are present to ensure that the conservation of such fish stocks continues to advance. If passed, H.R. 3061 would:
â€¢ Amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to require fishery management plans, amendments, or regulations for overfished fisheries to specify a time period for ending overfishing and rebuilding the fishery that is as short as practicable (under current law, as short as possible). It modifies the exceptions to the requirement that such period not exceed 10 years.
â€¢ Require consideration, in evaluating progress to end overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks, of factors other than commercial and recreational fishing.
â€¢ Require, when the Secretary of Commerce extends the period under specified provisions, that the maximum rebuilding time not exceed the sum of the initial 10-year period, the expected time to rebuild the stock absent any fishing mortality and under prevailing environmental conditions, and the mean generation time
of the stock.
â€¢ Direct Regional Fishery Management Councils to consider data on recreational fishermen when specifying annual catch limits in a fishery management plan.
â€¢ Authorize the Secretary of Commerce to suspend application of the annual catch limits to a fishery for any period that: (1) the fishery is neither overfished nor
approaching such condition, (2) any stock previously affected by overfishing is rebuilt, and (3) scientific advice of the relevant Council committee is insufficient to ensure consistency with the national standard.
â€¢ Require the fishery impact statement of a fishery management plan to address the impacts and possible mitigation measures for coastal businesses dependent on recreational and commercial fishing industries.
â€¢ Direct: (1) each Council to submit an annual impact statement to the Secretary describing whether each fishery management plan is projected to have any adverse economic impact (and the estimated dollar amount of any impact) on such recreational and commercial fishermen and coastal businesses, and (2) the Secretary to mitigate any such impacts.
The full text of H.R. 3061 is available from The Library of Congress at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3061:
S. 632 – Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2011
A similar bill, S. 632, was introduced in the U.S. Senate on March 17, 2011 by Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). Cosponsors of S. 632 in the Senate include Scott Brown (R-MA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kay Hagan (D-NC).
S. 632 entitled 'Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2011' amends the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to:
â€¢ Require fishery management plans, amendments, or regulations for overfished fisheries to specify a time period for ending overfishing and rebuilding the fishery that is as short as practicable (instead of as short as possible).
â€¢ Modify the exceptions to the requirement that such period not exceed ten years.
â€¢ Require consideration, in evaluating progress to end overfishing and rebuild overfished stocks, of factors other than commercial and recreational fishing.
â€¢ Require, when the Secretary of Commerce extends the period under specified provisions, that the maximum rebuilding time not exceed the sum of the initial ten-year period, the expected time to rebuild the stock absent any fishing mortality and under prevailing environmental conditions, and the mean generation
time of the stock.
The full text of S. 632 is available from The Library of Congress at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.632:
Both the House and Senate bills rely on discretionary decisions
made by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Former CEO of Edison International, John Bryson, was sworn in on October 21, 2011 as the 37th Secretary of Commerce. Time will tell if he is a friend of fishermen. Former Secretary of Commerce, Gary Locke, resigned on August 1, 2011 to become the US Ambassador to the People's Republic of China and prior to that, Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez
, resigned on January 20, 2009. Neither former Secretary of Commerce had a great track record for supporting the small commercial fisherman or the recreational fishing industry.
The Rebuilding American Fisheries Act would surely help the commercial and recreational fishing industries and coastal communities, and give anglers better
access to the fish. To top it off, the bill does not require pouring ungodly amounts of taxpayer money down the drain. You can't beat this deal with a stick (or a fishing rod)!
Let your elected officials know you want the Rebuilding American Fisheries Act to become law.
SINGIN' THE REGULATORY BLUES Department:
More sad tunes from your favorite fisheries management songsters...
On March 30, 2012, the New Jersey DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife announced new recreational regulations for SUMMER FLOUNDER (FLUKE)
and BLACK SEA BASS.
For anglers fishing in New Jersey waters, the open season for
Summer Flounder (Fluke) is about the same as last year, but while a smaller minimum size is allowed, the possession limit decreased. While these new regulations will allow many more anglers to go home with a fish or two, it will likely set us up for another of NOAA's snake oil science 'emergency closures' before the season ends.
2012 NEW JERSEY SUMMER FLOUNDER (FLUKE) RECREATIONAL SEASONS AND LIMITS – EFFECTIVE MARCH 30
Open May 5 – September 28 with a 5 fish possession limit
The minimum legal size is now 17.5 inches in New Jersey waters.
In comparison, here were last year's New Jersey Summer Flounder regulations:
Open May 7 – September 25 with a 8 fish possession limit
Last year's minimum size was 18 inches.
Don't really understand why the NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife released the following regulations for Black Sea Bass
since they will be rejected by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). After seeing the 'fatally flawed' Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS) from last November and December, the ASMFC realized they underestimated their previously approved coast-wide liberalizations for 2012. They will renege and force the states to re-issue regulations.
This double screw-up (junk science plus bad management) is yet another hand of Liar's Poker dealt by our federal fisheries managers.
2012 NEW JERSEY BLACK SEA BASS RECREATIONAL SEASONS AND LIMITS – EFFECTIVE MARCH 30
Open May 19 – October 14 with a 25 fish possession limit
CLOSED October 15 – October 31
Open November 1 – December 31 with a 25 fish possession limit
The minimum legal size is 12.5 inches in New Jersey waters.
In comparison, here were last year's New Jersey Black Sea Bass regulations:
Open May 28 – September 11 with a 25 fish possession limit
CLOSED September 12 – October 31
Open November 1 – December 31 with a 25 fish possession limit
Last year's minimum size was 12.5 inches.
On February 1, 2012, the New Jersey DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife announced new recreational regulations for RIVER HERRING and TAUTOG
(Blackfish). For New Jersey anglers, there is no longer an open season for River Herring, and for Tautog, the minimum size for increases to 15 inches, there are now three closed seasons, and possession limits are lower. The new regulations are driven by the latest management plans from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and are effective February 1.
According to the New Jersey DEP, "Effective immediately, no person shall take, possess, land, purchase, sell or offer for sale any River Herring (Alewife and Blueback) in the marine waters of the State." (Last year, NJ recreational anglers were allowed a possession limit of 35 River Herring with no size limit).
Apparently, the ASMFC is concerned about the decline of River Herring stocks and decided to act even though they admit the exact cause for the decline is
uncertain. The 'gotcha' in the federal management plan says that if a state doesn't have a federally-approved sustainable management plan, you cannot harvest River Herring. New Jersey along with Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts and Rhode Island do not have an approved plan and have closed their River Herring fisheries.
Regarding Tautog, the New Jersey DEP says, "The coastwide Tautog resource is currently overfished
and the spawning stock biomass – the weight of mature females in the stock – has remained at low levels despite previous efforts to help rebuild the coastwide resource. ASMFC's Addendum VI to the Tautog fishery management plan required a 53 percent reduction in coastwide harvest to promote the rebuilding of the coastwide Tautog resource. The new Tautog regulation changes were necessary to comply with the ASMFC-required harvest reduction."
Kindly note that 'overfished' as used by the ASMFC has a statutory and not a biological definition. According to the NMFS, "When a fish stock is being fished at a fishing mortality rate that exceeds the overfishing threshold set by the National Marine Fisheries Service, then overfishing is officially occurring."
This is a legal definition of overfishing and relies on an arbitrary numerical maximum sustainable yield that NMFS assigns on its own for each particular fish species. It is contrary to what you would consider 'overfishing' – to fish a body of water so extensively as to exhaust the supply of fish. The problem is that this crazy statutory meaning is what fishermen are bound to in terms of federal (and state) law.
2012 NEW JERSEY TAUTOG (BLACKFISH) RECREATIONAL SEASONS AND LIMITS – EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 1
Open January 1 - February 28 with a 4 fish possession limit
CLOSED March 1 - March 31
Open April 1 - April 30 with a 4 fish possession limit
CLOSED May 1 - July 26
Open July 27 - August 31 with a 1 fish possession limit
CLOSED September 1 - October 17
Open October 18 - November 15 with a 1 fish possession limit
Open November 16 - December 31 with a 4 fish possession limit
The minimum legal size is now 15 inches in New Jersey waters.
In comparison, here were last year's New Jersey Tautog regulations:
Open January 1 - April 30 with a 4 fish possession limit
CLOSED May 1 - July 15
Open July 16 - November 15 with a 1 fish possession limit
Open November 16 - December 31 with a 6 fish possession limit
Last year's minimum size was 14 inches.
Alas, the latest ASMFC Tautog management plan still uses fatally flawed MRFSS data to substantiate decisions and until we stop them from using this junk science, we all get screwed (again).
As background, Congress requested the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences to perform a comprehensive review of the Marine Recreational Fishing Statistical Survey (MRFSS),
a random-survey program used since 1979 to gauge overall harvest and participation trends in the recreational sector. NRC committee chair Dr. Patrick Sullivan presented a final report to Congress in 2006, and in it deemed MRFSS "fatally flawed". Consequently, Congress legally mandated NOAA to design a replacement for the MRFSS and deploy it by 2009. Well, it's 2012 and NOAA hasn't done their job
yet, and Congress hasn't smacked them for being bad. Instead, NOAA has reallocated monies in their budget for this and other scientific research to pushing their Ponze scheme 'Catch Shares' effort.
Given this, ASMFC missives have as much credibility as promises from a used car salesman.
THE FLUKE THAT ROARED Department:
"When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me." ~ Oscar Wilde on Assumption
Depending on your interpretation, whenever you "assume" something, you are in fact asking for someone to help you out with something of great difficulty, or you are simply doing something stupid.
Fishing regulations are based on fish stock assessments. These key assessments are subject to much conjecture since the available data is often questionable
and the statistical models reply on assumed values. Small changes in the available data and the assumed values make all the difference between a stock assessment that is accurate and one that is way off the mark.
The folks at the SAVE THE SUMMER FLOUNDER FISHERY FUND have the singular mission of safeguarding and maintaining the
public's access to the Summer Flounder fishery. They have commissioned and fully funded independent marine scientists to create a COMPREHENSIVE SCIENTIFIC STOCK REVIEW for Summer Flounder. This approach has been successful and accepted by National Marine Fisheries Service as the best and most updated available science on the Summer Flounder stock. The results are increased quotas and relaxed Summer Flounder regulations for anglers for the last several years.
The independent review is ongoing and fisheries biologist Dr. Mark Maunder, an internationally recognized specialist in stock assessments and the computer models they use, recently released a summary of his latest work.
You can read Dr Maunder's summary report by clicking here.
It isn't an easy read, but it debates some of the key assumptions and estimates used by fisheries managers. It is designed to assist them with the scientific understanding necessary to
improve the accuracy of the Summer Flounder stock assessment.
The SSFFF is the 'someone that is helping out with something of great difficulty'.
Mels-Place.com supports the SAVE THE SUMMER FLOUNDER FISHERY FUND
We encourage you to make a donation and help continue this important work.
SAVE THE SUMMER FLOUNDER FISHERY FUND
PO Box 86
Brielle, NJ 08730
Please make your check, or money order, payable to "Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund" or "SSFFF"
If you prefer, you can make your donation on-line using Visa or MasterCard by clicking here (http://www.ssfff.net/id80.html)
ROGUE'S GALLERY Department:
"Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer." Here are the environmental non-governmental groups, foundations and trusts (ENGOs) who claim that they are working for the good of commercial fishermen, recreational anglers and the public, and that flexibility in the fisheries management process will make things worse.
Through endless lawsuits, they and their deeply funded activists are responsible for forcing the National Marine Fisheries Service and other governmental groups to rigidly adhere to arbitrary and unrealistic stock rebuilding goals and schedules.
They have infiltrated the ranks of the federal and regional fisheries management agencies with their shills and lackeys, and that includes NOAA's Chief Administrator (and PEW Fellow) Jane Lubchenko.
PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS
This is the 900-pound gorilla of the rogue's gallery and it bankrolls the rest of the groups listed below and many others not shown. The Pew Trusts was established by the children of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew and has about $5 billion in assets. In 2004, the Pew Trusts changed from a foundation
into a nonprofit organization. As such, it can now raise funds freely and devote up to 20% of its budget to lobbying the public sector. The Pew Trusts also funds the Pew Research Center, the third-largest think tank in Washington DC. In 2006, the Pew Trusts had over $670 million in revenues, dispensed nearly $150 million in grants and spent about $50 million to administer their programs. They are indeed a well endowed and powerful adversary.
2005 Market Street, Suite 1700, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Rebecca Rimel, President and CEO
MARINE FISH CONSERVATION NETWORK
Suite 210, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20003
Phil Kline, Greenpeace
Peter Shelley, Conservation Law Foundation
Linda Behnken, Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association
Tom Fote, Jersey Coast Anglers Association
Zeke Grader, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
Aaron Viles, Gulf Restoration Network
Dana Wolfe,The Ocean Conservancy
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
These are the folks that brought Catch Shares, hard Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and NOAA's Chief Administrator Jane Lubchenko into your life. Jane was a member of their board of directors.
257 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010
Fred Krupp, President
http://www.edf.org/ or http://www.environmentaldefense.org/
PEW ENVIRONMENT GROUP
901 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20004
Joshua S. Reichert, Managing Director
THE OCEAN CONSERVANCY
2029 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Vikki N. Spruill, President and CEO
CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION
62 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02110
John B. Kassel, President
Ask them some hard questions. They wrongfully portray fishermen (YOU) as greedy and uncaring about the future of any fishery and as the sole cause of fishery problems. Fishing is an environmental issue to them and they don't want you to fish. Treat them accordingly.
THE BIG QUESTION Department:
Is our fisheries management too important to be left to fishermen? It must be so, since we continuously suffer the consequences of the decisions made by our federal fisheries bureaucrats. Unfortunately, these non-elected fishery managers
control the federal system and through their mandates, indirectly control the state systems too. Most importantly, they are not required to directly report to our elected officials and apparently can do what they want without consequence or culpability.
The federal fisheries management system is broken or in bureaucratic vernacular, fatally flawed. The system is rigid to a
fault, unrealistic, filled with incorrect assumptions, bad science, inaccurate and conflicting fisheries data, and strongly influenced by a small, but powerful and well-endowed group of environmental zealots who are more interested in preservation instead of conservation.
By now, it should be clear to all recreational fishermen, party boat operators, charter boat operators, commercial fishermen,
marina operators, tackle shop owners, tackle distributors, bait wholesalers, tackle manufacturers and anyone else that makes a livelihood directly or indirectly from fishing activities, that FISHERMEN ARE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES! The final goal fisheries management bureaucrats have is to eliminate recreational and commercial fishing except for a select few. They are
unfairly picking on the fishing community by mandating ever-harsher regulations that reduce fishing seasons, increase minimum sizes and reduce possession limits for an ever-increasing variety of fish.
Unfortunately, as a group, recreational anglers are splintered and fragmented, and are always in a reactive mode; we jump up and down and scramble every
time we hear that a new regulation is coming (and new regulations are arriving with alarming frequency.) We meet with the bureaucrats to explain our case, we show them contrary data, and we let them know that they are affecting our quality of life. Alas, our plea falls on deaf bureaucratic ears.
The federal fisheries management system has created debacles with Winter Flounder, Fluke, Striped Bass, Sea Bass, Blackfish and Tuna fisheries, and
they are looking to mess with more species. Enough already!
The fisheries bureaucrats are running amok all across the country and the crazy thing about this is that we have not heard a peep from any of the TACKLE MANUFACTURERS! You would think that they would be very concerned; if we cannot fish, they will not be able to sell us their fishing rods, reels, lures and all of the other goodies they make.
WHERE ARE YOU Shimano, Penn, Calstar, Accurate, Berkley, Loomis, Plano, Eagle Claw, PowerPro, Mustad, Ande, Braid, Jinkai, Quantum, Sampo, Abu Garcia, Owner, Momoi, Spro and Daiwa???
YOU ELECTED THESE FOLKS Department:
HUNTING AND FISHING ARE OUR RIGHTS – THEY ARE NOT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES!
You are being cheated by unfair regulations from runaway federal bureaucracies. Let your elected representatives know about it.
YOU FISH AND YOU VOTE
– Your comments are important and are indeed heard by your elected representatives. Here are some links, addresses and telephone numbers for elected officials in this region. Please note that the United States Postal Service checks snail mail addressed to these folks for security reasons and this delays delivery. Most of the following links connect you to their e-mail contact page.
Go ahead and give them a piece of your mind!
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie â€¢ Office of the Governor, PO Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625 â€¢ (609) 292-6000
US Senator Frank Lautenberg (NJ) â€¢ 324 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-3224
US Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) â€¢ 528 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-4744
US Congressman Robert E. Andrews (NJ, District 1) â€¢ 2265 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-6501
US Congressman Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ, District 2) â€¢ 2427 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-6572
US Congressman John Runyan (NJ, District 3) â€¢ 1239 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-4765
US Congressman Christopher H. Smith (NJ, District 4) â€¢ 2373 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-3765
US Congressman Scott Garrett (NJ, District 5) â€¢ 2244 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-4465
US Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ, District 6) â€¢ 237 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-4671
US Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ, District 7) â€¢ 426 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-5361
US Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ, District 8) â€¢ 2370 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-5751
US Congressman Steven R. Rothman (NJ, District 9) â€¢ 2303 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-5061
US Congressman Donald M. Payne (NJ, District 10) â€¢ 2310 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-3436
US Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen (NJ, District 11) â€¢ 2369 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-5034
US Congressman Rush D. Holt (NJ, District 12) â€¢ 1214 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-5801
US Congressman Albio Sires (NJ, District 13) â€¢ 2342 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ (202) 225-7919
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo â€¢ State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224 â€¢ (518) 474-8390
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) â€¢ 478 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-4451
US Senator Charles E. Schumer (NY) â€¢ 322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-6542
US Congressman Timothy Bishop (NY, District 1) â€¢ 306 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3826
US Congressman Steve Israel (NY, District 2) â€¢ 2457 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3335
US Congressman Pete King (NY, District 3) â€¢ 339 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515â€¢ 202-225-7896
US Congressman Carolyn McCarthy (NY, District 4) â€¢ 2346 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-5516
US Congressman Gary Ackerman (NY, District 5) â€¢ 2111 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-2601
US Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (NY, District 6) â€¢ 2234 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3461
US Congressman Joseph Crowley (NY, District 7) â€¢ 2404 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3965
US Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY, District 8) â€¢ 2334 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-5635
US Congressman Robert Turner (NY, District 9) â€¢ 2104 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-6616
US Congressman Edolphus Towns (NY, District 10) â€¢ 2232 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-5936
US Congressman Yvette D. Clarke (NY, District 11) â€¢ 1029 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-6231
US Congressman Nydia M. VelÃ¡zquez (NY, District 12) â€¢ 2302 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-2361
US Congressman Michael Grimm (NY, District 13) â€¢ 512 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3371
US Congressman Carolyn Maloney (NY, District 14) â€¢ 2332 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-7944
US Congressman Charles B. Rangel (NY, District 15) â€¢ 2354 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-4365
US Congressman JosÃ© E. Serrano (NY, District 16) â€¢ 2227 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-4361
US Congressman Eliot Engel (NY, District 17) â€¢ 2161 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-2464
US Congressman Nita Lowey (NY, District 18) â€¢ 2365 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-6506
US Congressman Nan Hayworth (NY, District 19) â€¢ 1440 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-5441
US Congressman Chris Gibson (NY, District 20) â€¢ 502 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-5614
US Congressman Paul D. Tonko (NY, District 21) â€¢ 422 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-5076
US Congressman Maurice Hinchey (NY, District 22) â€¢ 2431 â€¢ Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-6335
US Congressman Bill Owens (NY, District 23) â€¢ 431 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-4611
US Congressman Richard Hanna (NY, District 24) â€¢ 319 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3665
US Congressman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY, District 25) â€¢ 1630 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3701
US Congressman Kathy Hochul (NY, District 26) â€¢ 1711 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-5265
US Congressman Brian Higgins (NY, District 27) â€¢ 2459 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3306
US Congressman Louise Slaughter (NY, District 28) â€¢ 2469 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3615
US Congressman Tom Reed (NY, District 29) â€¢ 1037 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 â€¢ 202-225-3161
Delaware Governor Jack Markell â€¢ Tatnall Building, William Penn Street, Dover, DE 19901 â€¢ (302) 744-4101
US Senator Thomas R. Carper (DE) â€¢ 513 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-2441
US Senator Christopher A. Coons (DE) â€¢ 127A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-5042
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley â€¢ 100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401 â€¢ (410) 974-3901
US Senator Ben Cardin (MD) â€¢ 509 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-4524
US Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (MD) â€¢ 503 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-4654
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell â€¢ P.O. Box 1475, Richmond, VA 23218 â€¢ (804) 786-2211
US Senator Mark Warner (VA) â€¢ 475 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-2023
US Senator Jim Webb (VA) â€¢ 248 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-4024
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy â€¢ State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 â€¢ (860) 566-4840
US Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) â€¢ 702 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-2823
US Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (CT) â€¢ 706 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-4041
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee â€¢ 222 State House, Providence, RI 02903 â€¢ (401) 222-2080
US Senator Jack Reed (RI) â€¢ 728 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-4642
US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) â€¢ 717 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-2921
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick â€¢ Massachusetts State House, Room 280, Boston, MA 02133 â€¢ (617) 725-4005
US Senator Scott Brown (MA) â€¢ 359 Dirksen Senate Office Building, WashiNGTON, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-4543
US Senator John Kerry (MA) â€¢ 218 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-2742
New Hampshire Governor John Lynch â€¢ State House, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301 â€¢ (603) 271-2121
US Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH) â€¢ 144 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-3324
US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (NH) â€¢ 520 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-2841
Maine Governor Paul LePage â€¢ Office of the Governor, #1 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 â€¢ (207) 287-3531
US Senator Susan M. Collins (ME) â€¢ 413 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-2523
US Senator Olympia J. Snowe (ME) â€¢ 154 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 â€¢ (202) 224-5344
Don't know who your Senator or Congressman is? Then use the following links...
CLICK HERE and WRITE YOUR SENATOR
CLICK HERE and WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN
While you're in the swing of things, you can write to members of the New Jersey Senate and Assembly by clicking here.
For more regulatory madness on our fisheries, see our It's the Law page.
There is more to come on these unsavory topics as they unfold, so hold your nose while we put some week-old squid in your bait cup.
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS Department:
You can help support our brave troops that are far away from home. Steer your browser over to the USO (United Service Organizations) web site at www.USO.org. A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on our generosity to deliver its special brand of comfort, morale and recreational services to service members and their families during the last seventy-one years. Stop on by and spread some cheer. We wish our troops a
speedy return to their homes, their families, and their fishing poles.
Contribute to Operation USO Care Package