Source: Assembly Republican Press Release -
Assemblyman Sam Fioochi has introduced a resolution to ensure that all recreational fishermen are in the same boat when it comes to summer flounder regulations. The resolution, AR-228, urges the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to make the Delaware Bay its own distinct region under the 2016 summer flounder management program.
“You have fishermen from New Jersey and Delaware dropping lines in the same water, but fishing under different rules,” said Fiocchi, R – Cumberland, Cape May and Atlantic.
Fiocchi noted that while Delaware anglers can legally keep summer flounder (fluke) over 16 inches long, a legal fish for New Jersey is 18 inches, more than 12 percent larger. In addition, the fluke season in Delaware is year-round, while regs limit New Jersey to a 128-day season.
“There is a lot of confusion about this, and it just isn’t fair to New Jersey,” Fiocchi said. “Recreational fishing is a critical component of the South Jersey economy, and the uneven playing field jeopardizes a valuable portion of our tourism industry. Every fisherman on the bay should be governed by the same regulations.”
The ASMFC is responsible for developing summer flounder fishery regulations to ensure the protection and maintenance of the fish resource. Under a plan adopted in 2014 by ASMFC, New jersey, New York and Connecticut must combine their summer flounder quotas and adopt quotas for recreational fishing. Our state’s anglers were negatively impacted by the new limits.
Fiocchi’s resolution urges the ASMFC to create a separate summer flounder management program, with uniform limits and seasons for all recreational fishers.
“Our fishermen shouldn’t be penalized simply because they live on our side of the bay,” said Fiocchi. “We should establish a management program specific to the Delaware Bay that is fair to the fishery, the bay, and to recreational anglers from both states.”