Markowski, Captain Pete
Grimbilas, Jerry Natale, Len
Wolgast, PhD., Anthony
and quotas from regional states by using
"Fluke Fairness Act"
Schumer pledges to use clout to pass 'Fluke
Originally published: November 4, 2013 3:41
Updated: November 5, 2013 12:25 AM
By MARK HARRINGTON email@example.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
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
"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
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
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
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 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
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.
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
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
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
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
20TH ANNUAL FLUKE TOURNAMENT AUGUST 2nd 2014
ANGLERS ASSOCIATION 20th
TOURNAMENT AUGUST 2nd 2014
Toms River, NJ - April 29,
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
One - Thousands of
dollars in cash and prizes!
Two - A great day of
fishing fun with family and friends!
Three - A gala awards
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
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
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
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
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.
Hutchinson, Jr. /
**RFA NEWS ALERT**
For Immediate Release
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. /
For Immediate Release
May 4, 2014
SEISMIC OCEAN BLASTING TO BEGIN ON JUNE
Obama Faces Whale Of a Problem Along Jersey
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
"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
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