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NJOA LogoNew Jersey Outdoor Alliance

PO Box 655

Belmar, NJ 07719

"Preservation through conservation"


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

NJOA: "Pots Off the Reefs" Rule Moves Forward!
NJOA Release (c) 2015:  1/9/15

New Jersey Outdoor Alliance (NJOA) represented the interests of its Conservation Foundation members (see list below), some of the largest salt water fishing and diving organizations in NJ, at the Marine Fisheries Council meeting last night to show support for the Christie Administration compromise rule proposal to remove fixed gear from reefs in state waters.
Anthony Mauro, Chair, NJOA, thanked the Christie Administration, Commissioner Martin, and the Marine Fisheries Council, for their commitment to resolve the long standing problems encountered by anglers that are caused by fixed gear on reefs. Mauro stated, “For years members of the NJOA Conservation Foundation faced an uphill battle of advancing the issue against some very powerful interests wanting to maintain the status quo.”
Mauro continued, “The reef compromise rule is not only a testimony to the enormous accomplishments that can be realized when sportsmen and women work together to solve difficult and protracted problems, but also shows that there are ways to find common ground among unaffiliated groups with conflicting agendas. Let’s keep in mind that this compromise was forged by people on two very different sides of this issue.”
Captain Pete Grimbilas, President, NJOA CF, stated, “The compromise rule proposal will help keep reef areas in NJ waters free of gear that not only cause snags and other problems for drift fishing but it will also help maintain the integrity of the reefs and the natural resources that inhabit or use them.” Captain Grimbilas is also President, Reef Rescue, an organization that was formed specifically to advocate for the removal of fixed gear on artificial reefs.
As part of the compromise, the DEP will build a new reef site for anglers to ensure “no net loss” of reef area for hook and line, and spear fishing. A new reef will be built to compensate for the zones on the Axel Carlson and Sandy Hook sites where hook and line, spear, and fixed gear fishing will be allowed. The issue of removing fixed gear on reefs located in federal waters off of New Jersey's coast continues to be pursued by NJOA CF members. Commissioner Martin has stated that the Christie Administration will petition the federal government to have fixed gear removed from these reefs in the near future.
The rule proposal will be available for public comment shortly and may be viewed at the NJ DEP site:

New striped bass regulations moving through NJ Legislature

Burlington County Times


Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 5:00 pm | Updated: 8:59 am, Tue Feb 17, 2015.


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


Jersey Coast Anglers Association


From: Paul Haertel, President JCAA
Date: January 8, 2015 at 11:58:50 PM EST
Subject: Striper Reg and Reef Update

To All,

I attended the NJMFC meeting this afternoon. Coincidentally the ASMFC technical committee had met earlier today. They approved the NJMFC's option for one fish at 28-36" with a second fish over 36" but rejected the NJMFC's preferred option of one fish from 28-42" with a second fish over 42". The reason was that it resulted in only a 24.8% reduction and a 25% reduction is mandated. Our state then changed their request to one fish from 28-43" with a second fish over 43" and the TC approved that as it will result in a 25.1% reduction. The council discussed this and accepted public comment. People spoke passionately about the proposals and although some favored one fish at 28" most favored the two fish option with one fish from 28-43"" with a second fish over 43". Ultimately the council voted unanimously in favor of supporting the 28-43" plus one over 43" option. The next step is that this option has to be approved by the full ASMFC board in early February. Once approved, it is likely that a senator and an assemblyman will introduce legislation for that option. . The bonus bass program is a separate issue that will be decided upon at a later date. However, it will stay in effect with either a small slot fish or an additional fish over 28". The council also voted in favor of the compromise reef regulation proposal. It will be put into the registry soon and then there is a 60 day comment period. In part the regulation will restrict pots from about 85% of the Axel Carlson and Sandy Hook reefs. A new reef will be built for recreational fishing only and our state will request SMZ status for the reefs off our coast that are in federal waters.

Paul H.


Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA)

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


For Immediate Release

  February 27, 2014  


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     


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

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