Super TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
Sad news on Jersey Flounder
Even with low catches in 2016 some fishermen claim the data are flawed that are used as the basis to restrict catches to rebuild the stock after several years of poor reproduction. The population is low and reproduction has been poor for several years.
And so it goes.....
South Jersey fishermen plan to fight proposed flounder restrictions
JACK TOMCZUK Staff Writer Dec 14, 2016
South Jersey-based businesses and fishermen are worried by a proposal calling for drastic cuts in next summer’s flounder catch.
One local recreational anglers’ association is planning to appeal to the incoming Trump administration in an effort to halt potential restrictions.
Federal officials are expected to adopt a plan Thursday that would decrease the number of summer flounder fishermen can keep in New Jersey from five to two. It would also raise the size limit by an inch, from 18 to 19 inches.
Jim Donofrio, executive director of the New Gretna-based Recreational Fishing Alliance, said the change would cripple bait-and-tackle shops, boat dealerships and other businesses that cater to fishermen.
“It’s akin to a shutdown” on flounder fishing,” he said. “No one’s happy about it.”
The National Marine Fisheries Service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has recommended the flounder harvest be reduced by nearly 30 percent next year and by another 16 percent in 2018 due to declining flounder numbers.
In an October report, the fisheries service said a study concluded that “continuing to overfish in a period of consistently poor recruitment represents a substantial risk to the stock.”
Donofrio said the conclusions were based on “bogus science” and criticized regulatory agencies for pushing preservation over conservation.
He said his organization will ask President-elect Donald J. Trump’s secretary of Commerce to nullify the tightened rules if they are adopted at this week’s Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council meetings in Baltimore.
Last month, Trump nominated billionaire investor Wilbur Ross Jr. to head the Department of Commerce. He needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before taking office.
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and U.S Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-6th, urged NOAA in a letter Monday to reconsider its proposal.
“Implementing this proposed rule will have a dramatic impact on the livelihoods of recreational and commercial fishermen, damaging the economies of the coastal communities that depend on this important fishery,” the letter states.
Statewide, 40 percent of the fishing trips target summer flounder, according to the letter.
This past summer’s flounder catch was not too impressive, a number of local fishermen said.
“It was the worst in 60 years,” said Bill Shillingford, 74, of the Swainton section of Middle Township, who said he fishes 160 days a year.
Fred Uhlman, 66, of Wildwood Crest, is the manager of No Bones Bait & Tackle in Wildwood.
He rents boats to fisherman and cleans their keepers when they get back to the dock, but he said he’s only cut up seven flounder this year.
Both said they didn’t want to see the flounder population depleted, but they claimed the government’s data is flawed. Neither wants to see tighter limits ion flounder.
“The chance of getting a fish over 19 inches is slim,” said Shillingford, who is attending the meetings in Baltimore. “People want to go out and keep flounder.”
“We’re losing the kids,” Uhlman said. “They don’t want to catch fish they can’t keep.”
“You’re going to see place like this (No Bones Bait & Tackle) just fade,” Uhlman said.
Platinum TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
The overall fisheries regulations have crippled recreational fishing businesses already in the Garden State. Even before this further kick to the gut, there is nothing for people to target between flounder season and the return of striped bass, which have mostly stayed outside 3 miles the last few years with a couple brief windows of action. Sea Bass regs are closed. You can only keep one tog before November. The shortened flounder season gives no real near shore fish to target until November, especially since weakfish are non existent. People dont book charters, rent boats, take head boat trips, etc. for little snapper blues.
Dedicated TF Poster - Not a Tidal Fish Subscriber
I will say people and business need to stop thinking about only themselves and making a dollar and put some emphasis on saving the environment. Earth is not ours to destroy but to only take what is needed. Most people take more than they need and leave behind destruction. Any smart person would not start a business in the fishing industry. We are taking to much and our resources don't have time to replenish itself. It is time to take a hard stand and cut commercial fishing and crabbing business and make recreational fishing regulations for species tougher. In 10 years maybe we can reduce the laws and our kids will have something to fish for.