Shore Report

State Lawmakers Calling on Feds to Lift Strict Limits on Fluke Fishing for This Season

f9e46c600fe79a749017_belmarmarina13.jpg
With the start of the fluke season, state legislators are asking the federal government to lift catch quotas until it can be better determine how many fluke are in offshore waters.
f9e46c600fe79a749017_belmarmarina13.jpg

TRENTON, NJ — While New Jersey anglers began the fluke season last month with strict federal catch limits still in place, state legislators are pushing to have those regulations lifted until there is better data available on the popular fish’s offshore stock.

The State Assembly is asking the federal government to suspend a 40 percent quota reduction that enters its second year until a new fluke stock assessment is completed and new rules can be established based on those findings.

“(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) recommendations for the 2017 and 2018 seasons were based on flawed data collected from inconsistent sampling and methodology,” said Assemblyman Edward H. Thomson (R-Monmouth/Ocean), who sponsored the resolution to freeze limits to 2015 levels.

Sign Up for E-News

“We need more accurate data so we can make informed decisions to protect the fish and the people who depend on it," he said. "Until then, we’re calling on the feds to freeze further flounder quotas until a new stock assessment is completed.”

The resolution specifically asks Congress to enact the Transparent Summer Flounder Quotas Act, which was introduced by Reps. Frank Pallone (D-6th District) and Frank LoBiondo (R-2nd District) in March 2017, but has not moved from the U.S. House’s Committee on Natural Resources since then.

“Our state’s recreational fishermen have already suffered from last year’s slashed catch limits and shortened season. Going forward, any further reduction of summer flounder limits would be nothing short of devastating to our state’s recreational and commercial fishing industries,” said Thomson, who represents the 30th Legislative District, which includes Belmar and Lake Como.

“New Jersey desperately needs Washington to stop relying on flawed numbers and bad science and complete newer, more precise stock assessments so we can accurately assess the health of our fluke stocks while protecting our fishermen’s livelihoods,” he added.

Also known as summer flounder, fluke is one of the most sought after saltwater fish on the Atlantic Coast and it is crucial to New Jersey’s recreational and commercial fisheries. There are more than 1 million recreational saltwater fishermen in New Jersey. The fishing industry contributes $7.9 billion to the state’s economy and supports 50,000 jobs. In addition, the state’s $44.1 billion a year tourism industry supports more than 500,000 jobs.

Summer flounder is managed cooperatively by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in state waters, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and NOAA fisheries in federal waters.

As a result, state regulators were able to take several steps to ease fluke restrictions for recreational fishermen. The N.J. Marine Fisheries Council extended the 2018 summer flounder season from May 25 to September 22 — with a daily limit of three fish measuring no less than 18 inches. The extended season was made possible after ASMFC increased its recreational quota by 630,000 pounds to 4.4 million pounds for 2018.

Commercial vessels are limited to bringing to 100 pounds of fluke — measuring no less than 14 inches — from May 1 through October 31, according to N.J. Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Marine Fisheries Administration.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

Download the free TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f9271be7c50b3bea46af_open_house_roselle

Wed, July 25, 9:00 AM

Durham School Services School Bus, Roselle

Hiring Event Open House Durham School Services ...

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_c78b21e6ed44eb79278a_burned_out

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Cranford United Methodist Church, Cranford

Wednesday Night Prayer Time at Cranford United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_574768912fb23a4cacc7_bfeb2b8d2a5b0913fb60_2f2194e6f686708fbbc3_pd_fd_bbq

Sat, July 28, 12:00 PM

Clark Recreation Center, Clark

Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off

Food & Drink Police & Fire

“Family Fun & Flix” in Warinanco Park Tuesday, July 24 Featuring “Peter Rabbit"

July 20, 2018

Family Fun & Flix, a free summer entertainment and film series presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, continues on Tuesday, July 24 with the presentation of “Peter Rabbit” at Warinanco Park, on the border of Elizabeth and Roselle. 

As part of the evening’s events, UC Get Fit, a health initiative ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 18, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

"Tired of Cronyism? Yeah, us too!"

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County

Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption

from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and

running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Obituaries

Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more