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NJOA LogoNew Jersey Outdoor Alliance

PO Box 655

Belmar, NJ 07719

"Preservation through conservation"

JOIN NJOA: 

http://www.njoutdooralliance.org/support/njoa.html

Officers: Ed Markowski, Captain Pete Grimbilas, Jerry Natale, Len Wolgast, PhD., Anthony Mauro 

NJOA: NY after NJ fluke quota...
 
and quotas from regional states by using "Fluke Fairness Act"
Schumer pledges to use clout to pass 'Fluke Fairness Act'
 

Originally published: November 4, 2013 3:41 PM
Updated: November 5, 2013 12:25 AM
By MARK HARRINGTON mark.harrington@newsday.com

Sen. Charles Schumer Monday fired another salvo in the battle against New York's disproportionately small share of the federal fluke fishery with proposed legislation that he said would "end the unfairness."

Surrounded by boat captains and advocates at the Captree State Park fishing dock, Schumer vowed to push a bill through Congress that would do away with what he said was the faulty data and uneven quota system on which New York's small share is based. And he said he would use his connections and clout in Congress to see to it.

"I've got a lot of friends in the Senate, I've got a lot of clout in the Senate," he said. "I will use it."
The so-called Fluke Fairness Act would require that federal fisheries managers use up-to-date research and data to set quotas, which now limit New York's share of the commercial fishery to 7.6 percent of the federal allotment. States such as North Carolina and Virginia get more than 20 percent. Out-of-state boats fishing in New York-area waters can sometimes take thousands of pounds of fluke, but must steam to home ports to unload their catch.


Regulators recently shut down the commercial fluke fishery in New York because this year's quota was met. Other states that haven't met their larger quota fish through the fall.

"This has been an incredible injustice," said Bonnie Brady, executive director of the Long Island Commercial Fishing Association, which supports Schumer's proposal.

Same for recreational fishing, Schumer said, where New York anglers' 17 percent quota means they can keep fewer fish than even neighboring states such as Connecticut and New Jersey, whose boats frequently travel into New York waters. New Jersey anglers fishing in season can keep five fluke of 17.5 inches compared with New York's four fish at 19 inches.

A regional approach Schumer and others have pushed would make the three states' recreational quota the same.

Fishing boat captains say it's badly needed.

"We've always taken the blunt end of the rules," said George Bartenback, owner of the Captain Rod party boat moored in Captree. "If people could go home with a couple more fish, it's a big help."

Schumer and industry advocates have pushed hard at the federal level to change the rules within the existing federal fishing regulators. But fishing councils that dictate the rules have resisted, he said, because they are largely controlled by states that have no interest in change.

Rep. Tim Bishop is considering introducing companion legislation in the House, spokesman Oliver Longwell said. At the same time, he said, Bishop will explore the feasibility of incorporating the measures in a bill to reauthorize the Manguson Stevens Fisheries Act, which set the original restrictions.The current rules not only frustrate recreational fishing captains and their patrons, but they also are bad for the fish stock, fishermen say.

Jim Hutchinson, managing director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, an advocacy group, said the rules force anglers to target the largest fish, often breeding females. Even worse, he said, the undersized fish thrown back have a 10 percent mortality rate -- about one in 10 that are tossed back die.

Emerson Hasbrouck, a senior educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension's Marine Program, said New York's more restrictive quota isn't about preserving a depleted fish stock.

"Summer flounder is fully restored, it's not overfished," he said using another name for fluke. The restrictions are in place, he said, because other states that have a larger percentage of the quota don't want to give it up -- even though some don't fully fish their allotment.

Hasbrouck said New York's low allotment is doubly unfair because the coastal fluke population is shifting -- to New York waters. "The population center has shifted northward," drawing boats from as far south as the Carolinas, yet, "New York fishermen are allowed the least fish."

NJOA: Stop the Green Acres Swap
 
NJOA is urging outdoorsmen and women to weigh in at a hearing Wednesday on a potential land swap between the city and state that involves preserving hundreds of environmentally sensitive acres. DEP has proposed to sell an 80-acre section (formerly the "Durand" property), purchased for preservation in July, 2013, in a swap for property called Holly Farms.

At issue is an 80-acre parcel, which the state Department of Environmental Protection purchased in July 2013 from Durand Glass Manufacturing Co. through the Green Acres Program, which is intended for land preservation. The 80 acres are off Gorton Road in South Millville Industrial Park and are located within the 474-acre Menantico Ponds Wildlife Management Area.

The other parcel, approximately 900 acres of wetlands about a half-mile away, is within the Holly Ridge Tract off East Main Street, which is part of a vast area of land that a developer hopes to turn into a housing development. It also borders the wildlife management area.

The primary concern of NJOA is that the current NJ DEP undertaking might set a precedent for future sales or trades of large areas of Green Acres property without environmental stewardship used as justification. Historically, the rare occasion for selling Green Acres property has been limited to a few acres and due to unique and justifiable circumstances. The current proposal would allow for the 80 acre tract, now Green Acres property, to be used for commercial development.

Should this transaction be approved, it is likely to become a precedent referenced by those looking to purchase Green Acres property, or Wildlife Management Areas, for commercial use or for other purposes unrelated to environmental protection and preservation.

Outdoorsmen and women can learn more, and have their opinions heard, at the following public hearings:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM at the City of Millville City Hall Commission Chambers; 4th floor12 S. High Street, Millville, New Jersey 08332 856-825-7000

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 2:30 PM at the Department of Environmental Protection Public Hearing Room, 401 E. State Street; 1st floor, Trenton, New Jersey 08625
 
NJOA representatives will be in attendance.

 

Jersey Coast Anglers Association

About Jersey Coast Anglers Association
  
The Jersey Coast Anglers Association is a non-profit organization formed in 1981. The original objective of the JCAA was to combine a loosely fragmented group of marine sportfishing clubs in order to form and promote a united consensus on issues relevant to saltwater anglers in New Jersey. Over teh years, the mission of the JCAA has remained unchanged, but now has the added goal of joining forces with organizations having similar objectives in states along the East Coast and national organizations. While the JCAA is relatively young, it has emerged as the most effective organization of its kind on the East Coast. For more information, or for information about becoming a member of the JCAA, please call (732) 506-6565 or visit www.JCAA.org.

 

Jersey Coast Anglers Association

JERSEY COAST ANGLERS ASSOCIATION 

20TH ANNUAL FLUKE TOURNAMENT AUGUST 2nd 2014

JERSEY COAST ANGLERS ASSOCIATION 20th

 ANNUAL FLUKE TOURNAMENT AUGUST 2nd 2014

 

Toms River, NJ - April 29, 2014                                          

 

Jersey Coast Anglers Association (JCAA) will hold its 20th Annual Fluke Tournament on August 2nd, 2014 and the Awards Ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday evening, August 6th at the Holiday Inn on Rte. 72 in Manahawkin.    The Grand Prize this year is a 14' boat, motor and trailer donated by RJ Marine Service of Cape May, Yamaha  & Sea Lion Trailers.  The first place port prize is still $1,200. 

 

Ten Great Reasons to Enter the 20th Annual JCAA Fluke Tournament on August 2nd

One - Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes!

Two - A great day of fishing fun with family and friends!

Three - A gala awards celebration

Four - Nine ports to fish from -- each with a $1,200 first place prize!

Five - An evening of fun and prizes galore

Six - Your chance to win the Grand Prize without even catching a fish!

Seven - A drawing for more door prizes than you can shake a graphite rod at!

Eight - A chance to take five of your friends or family fishing!

Nine -90 fabulous port prizes! Ten chances to win at each port. Odds like this you won't see in Vegas.

Ten - You'll be helping the Jersey Coast Anglers Association fight to protect your fishing rights and the marine environment!

 

HUNDREDS OF CHANCES TO WIN

This event is actually nine mini-tournaments in one. Each weigh station has its own set of prizes for the heaviest fluke brought to the scales including $1,200 in cash for first place: Jersey City donated by Liberty Landing Marina, Manasquan River donated by Hoffman's Marina, Barnegat Bay donated by South Harbor Marina, LBI donated by Fisherman's Headquarters, Cape May donated by RJ Marine Service and the rest of the ports donated by JCAA.

 

Major Sponsors this year are RJ Marine Service in Cape May who is donating a 14' Starcraft Boat, Yamaha who is donating the engine for the boat and Sealion Trailers who is donating the trailer.   Other Major Sponsors are Costa Sunglasses, Interlux Paint, West Marine, The Fisherman magazine and Canyon Reels.

 

That's a total of 90 port prizes! But there is more, much more! Contestants register in one of 9 ports from Jersey City  to Cape May, each with easy access weigh stations. You compete only against those boats registered in that port for the generous list of port prizes.

 

WHAT'S NEW THIS YEAR?    This year there will be an Optional Cash Category.  For $60.00 you can enter the optional cash category and again you will only be competing against those who fish out of your port and enter the optional cash category.  Two-thirds of the money goes to the winner and one-third goes to JCAA.

 

THE DRAWING WITHIN THE TOURNAMENT

In addition to your chance to win any of the port prizes by using your fishing skills, every boat entered has a shot at winning the Boat, Motor & Trailer Grand Prize and a host of door prizes. These will be given away as part of a huge drawing at the gala awards ceremony hosted by the Holiday Inn on Rte. 72 in Manahawkin on Wednesday, August 6th, 2014. At least one member from your crew must be present for you to win these door prizes. There will be plenty of fun at the awards ceremony and you will have a chance to meet the JCAA volunteer staff.  Tournament T-shirts and hats will be available. Come early and  meet the sponsors and have fun! Port prizes and door prizes will, once again, be presented at the event by our master of ceremonies, Dr. Pat Donnelly.

 

Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA)

Contact:  Jim Hutchinson, Jr. / 888-564-6732

**RFA NEWS ALERT**

For Immediate Release

  February 27, 2014  

NORTHEAST ANGLERS GET FLEECED ON FUNDING

NOAA Fisheries Rewards New England Draggers Again

 
The Bureau of Commercial Fisheries strikes again!

 

NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced that the $75 million appropriated by Congress as part of the Fiscal Year 2014 federal budget will be allocated to six fisheries across the country that were declared fishery disasters by the Department of Commerce in 2012 and 2013.

 

Of the total $75 million in federal fisheries disaster funding, Alaska's salmon fisheries will get close to $21 million, Florida will receive $6.3 million for problems relating to oyster harvest in the Gulf of Mexico, while commercial oyster and blue crab fishermen in Mississippi will receive $10.9 million.

 

NMFS said that the four coastal New England states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island will share close to $33 million in federal fisheries disaster relief for depleted groundfish stocks there including cod and flounder, while another $1 million will be sent to commercial fishermen in American Samoa following the tsunami of 2009.

 

Meanwhile, fishermen in New York and New Jersey will share just $3 million to address the devastating impacts following Superstorm Sandy.

 

In 2013, New York and New Jersey were awarded $5 million in fisheries disaster relief, which after sequestration cuts amount to just over $2 million per state to be allocated to both recreational and commercial fishing businesses impacted by Sandy. According to Jim Donofrio at the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), that money has not yet been implemented because it's too little to disperse to those impacted by the storm of the century.

 

"If every fishing business owner in New York and New Jersey that was hit hard in the aftermath of Sandy were to show up at the state capital looking for some of this NOAA grant money, they'd probably be able to get a check for $75," Donofrio said. "Well great news, here's another 50 bucks for you."

 

"New York and New Jersey were thrown under the bus with the Sandy relief money," added John Mantione of the New York Fishing Tackle Trades Association.

 

On January 14, 2013, Donofrio sent a letter to Congress on behalf of its members urging support of amendments to the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act in order to increase the available funding for states affected by Sandy, at least to $50 million. "By working with state officials in New York and New Jersey, and alongside individual stakeholders and industry groups in these affected states, we knew the figure for uninsured and uninsurable loss alone in the recreational industry would eclipse the $150 million mark," he said.

 

By the Commerce Department's own follow-up estimate, the losses from Sandy to New Jersey was anywhere from $78 to $121 million and approximately $77 million for New York.

 

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) whose 2013 House amendment to increase the fisheries disaster relief funding for New York and New Jersey alike was voted down in Congress said called the NMFS announcement disappointing. "The decision to allocate only $3 million for New York and New Jersey fisheries that were devastated by Sandy out of a total appropriation of $75 million is unfair and diminishes the true extent of the damage caused by the 'once in a century' storm," Pallone said.

 

"New Jersey's fishing industry is a critical driver of our state's economy, which was harshly impacted by the Superstorm Sandy and I have repeatedly called on NOAA to make recovery of our fisheries a top priority," the congressman noted, while calling the funding "insufficient and unrealistic."

 

Rep. Pallone went on to cite the Commerce Department's report which estimated $193 million in total losses for New York and New Jersey fisheries combined, saying "I find it confounding then, that NOAA has only allocated such a small and inadequate amount of funding to help us recover when the agency itself identified a far more serious need."

 

While RFA has praised the efforts of House members like Pallone, Jon Runyan (R-NJ) and Tim Bishop (D-NY) for trying to get additional funding through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, Donofrio said U.S. Senators from Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida and Mississippi were far more effective in shaking down NMFS for a better allotment of the $75 million in funding.

 

"New England draggers have consistently overfished in areas they've been allowed in, and their Senate leaders reward them with $33 million in fisheries welfare, not a dime of which is going to the beleaguered charter and for-hire sector. This commercial bias continues at the federal level while our recreational community in New York and New Jersey suffers at the hands of a broken bureaucracy and a federal law which doesn't properly reflect our unique recreational community," Donofrio said.

 

"If no one in Washington or at NOAA Fisheries is going to help our fishermen and recreational industry sufficiently recoup what was lost as defined under federal fisheries law, then maybe our New York and New Jersey senate delegation can fix the law and help our anglers to keep fishing," Donofrio said.

 

RFA said the total funding available to support commercial and recreational fishing industry losses following Sandy adds up to about $3.75 million for each state, New York and New Jersey. While the funding mechanism and distribution method has yet to be established, RFA hopes both the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New York Department of Environmental Conservation will work transparently with stakeholders in the days and months ahead to develop a strategy.

 

"Our recreational sector was never looking at handouts to sit at home like the New England commercial sector, but we were just looking for an honest hand so that our folks can keep fishing," Donofrio added.

 

According to NOAA Fisheries, states receiving funding have broad latitude to determine the best use of the funds to meet the unique needs of their local businesses and communities, as the monies can be used for activities that, "restore the fishery or prevent a similar failure in the future, and to assist a fishing community affected by such failure."

 

* In 1970, President Richard Nixon transferred almost all functions associated with the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries to the Department of Commerce and the office was renamed the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Recreational Fishing Alliance  
Contact:  Jim Hutchinson, Jr. / 888-564-6732  
For Immediate Release
May 4, 2014     

SEISMIC OCEAN BLASTING TO BEGIN ON JUNE 3

Obama Faces Whale Of a Problem Along Jersey Shore

 

New Jersey recreational and commercial fishermen, along with a coalition of grassroots environmental groups and local activists, are protesting the irresponsible scheduling of a seismic testing program just 15 miles off Barnegat Inlet, a study that very well could last into August.
 
Scheduled to start on June 3 - which coincides with critical fish and marine mammal migration periods along the Jersey Shore - the seismic testing incorporates high-energy, seismic blasting by way of four- and eight-airgun arrays mounted on a large research vessel that produces sound levels of up to 253 decibels fired in an alternating sequence every 5 seconds.
 
Approved by the Obama administration as a climate change study designed to access deep sea sediments, the seismic blasting study off the Jersey Coast is being run by Rutgers University and is expected to last 30 days and cover 230 square miles of ocean, though sources believe the effort could continue later into the summer months. 
 
"Our federal government couldn't have picked a worse time to coordinate such an invasive study," said Jim Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). "Our fishing community is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, and this explosive study will scatter fish and potentially do damage to migratory species like bottlenose dolphins, humpbacks and even right whales along our coast that time of year."
 
Donofrio said members of the for-hire fleet, as well as well as local commercial fishermen, are fearful of the potential impacts on local marine life posed by the seismic airgun blasts. A recent study in the Journal of Acoustical Society of America has confirmed that seismic airguns used in similar underwater oil exploration efforts have damaged the auditory organs of fish. In announcing the $369,358 grant to Rutgers University to perform this seismic study, the National Science Foundation specifically noted how final results of the study "may be of relevance for hydrocarbon exploration industry."
 
"Under the guise of a climate change study, the Obama Administration has proposed another job-killer for the coastal fishing industry during the prime summer months," Donofrio said. "They're obviously going forward with this study despite our concerns, but at the very least it could be coordinated at a different time of year when the negative impacts of marine life and local economy are minimized."
 
RFA and other groups are urging the Obama Administration to step in and reschedule the seismic blasting for the winter months of January through March when the effects would be less damaging to marine life and the coastal resource.

 

 
Follow RFA 'Tweets' on the seismic testing at pic.twitter.com/GY6mnIWfXa

About Recreational Fishing Alliance

The Recreational Fishing Alliance is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation's saltwater fisheries. For more information, call 888-JOIN-RFA or visit www.joinrfa.org.