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NY wants some of NJ's Fluke

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Asbury Park Press 12-13-13

There's a distinct possibility that the 2014 summer flounder season will be different from years past. In its effort to get more fluke, New York is pushing for regional management of the summer flounder fishery.

At a joint meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on Wednesday, an addendum was approved that will allow the public to comment on a suite of regional measures for the fishery.

"I think the main impetus here is to provide similar measures up and down the coast without having any one or two states from having any significant disparate regulations from other states, at least in a neighboring perspective," said Capt. Adam Nowalsky, chairman of the New Jersey chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. "The big fly in the ointment right now is New York with the one-inch higher size limit than everybody else."

New York has been fighting for a bigger share of the fluke quota for years and was considering legal action earlier the year if coastal equivalency, or state-by-state measures, were retained to manage the stock. In addition, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has proposed legislation, the Fluke Fairness Act, to get a larger share of the fluke catch for his constituents.

Another management option on the table at the Wednesday meeting was coastwide management of fluke where the size, season and bag limits were the same for every state. That option was rejected.

According to Capt. Nowalsky, there will be some kind of state-by-state summer flounder regulation in 2014. At the same time, a regional approach offered by New York was accepted as an option to be considered. An addendum from the ASMFC will be released within the next two weeks and the public will have a chance to comment into January. A decision on those options, or some type of state-by-state measure will be made in February.

"I think everyone is committed to bringing the New York size limit down. States are going to jockey for regulations that try and achieve that without doing a disservice to their own state," Nowalsky said.

Nowalsky admits it's a very aggressive time line, but then, he said, we've been operating under aggressive time lines for years.

In principal, Nowalsky agrees that a more equitable distribution of the stock is a good goal to have, but one has to look at the long-term impact. If New Jersey were to sacrifice this year and then have that decision come back to hurt us in three or five years, it wouldn't be in the best interests of New Jersey.

One vital piece of information missing in the regional options was what would happen if summer flounder were overfished under the plan. "That's an unknown right now," said Nowalsky

Chris Zeman, one of New Jersey's voting representatives to the MAFMC, is very concerned over the new direction of fluke management.

"Regional management may have potential, but because New York is rushing this, they're going to mess this up," Zeman said. "No state should ever adopt a plan that does not explain the consequences of overfishing."

Zeman is also concerned that the regional management options have bag and size limits that will likely change and become more restrictive when finalized. The Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) numbers for Wave 5 are not available yet and the numbers for Waves 1 through 4 are still preliminary. "It is likely that these alternatives have optimistic 'teaser' size and bag limits to get enough votes to pass. Once passed, the measures change and states are trapped in a regional jail," he said.

"Right now, we have a 22-page document that is going to the public and is not ready for prime time. There are real issues with the MRIP numbers and way too many variables to be at all comfortable with this approach," Zeman said.

He believes New York should take the time and develop an actual plan that could be reviewed and trusted.

Zeman said his preference is for state-by-state measures where each state sets it's measures and controls its fishing future.

As of now, Zeman said there are too many fundamental questions that aren't answered and New Jersey has to pay attention to what's happening.

"February is going to be a key month for New Jersey's summer flounder fishery," said Zeman.
post #2 of 14
I don't really mind. Truth: Ny gets short end of the stick on most species.
post #3 of 14
if ny has a problem with there fish thats on them is hard to get keepes now so i dont want any of nj fish to go to them thats how i feel!!
post #4 of 14
Chuck Schumer....the second most repulsive man in NY.....Fishes ? I got two words for him............
post #5 of 14
That's crazy. NJ regulations is already tough to keep, now this. When will it stop
post #6 of 14
Doesn't it make fundamental sense to regulate a species based on its ecological boundaries and needs vs. some arbitrary political (state) line? If we are truly trying to manage a sustainable fishery, then a fluke should have an equal measure of protection (whatever that may be) in all states that it inhabits. I don't know much about fisheries management, and there's probably something obvious that I am missing, but It seems pretty straight forward to me: If fluke could read, then they'd all move to NY.... wink.gif
post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by j0k3r View Post

I don't really mind. Truth: Ny gets short end of the stick on most species.

They probably won't mind giving us some of their blackfish either, right? wink.gif
post #8 of 14
Originally Posted by Fly By Nite View Post

They probably won't mind giving us some of their blackfish either, right? wink.gif

Give us some of our blackfish
post #9 of 14
Sounds like Pandora's box. No thanks.
post #10 of 14
5 biscuits?? May as well shut it down...icon24.gif

The Draft Addendum also proposes two options for the 2014 black sea bass recreational fishery (1)
coastwide measures (currently proposed at 13” TL minimum size, a 5 fish possession limit, and a season
from June 1 to September 30) or (2) the continued use of management measures by northern (MA – NJ) and
southern regions (DE – NC).
post #11 of 14
Yea let them give us some of their blackfish ahaha ha so in real talk let them give us some of our blackfish from their roller trawlers and party boats
post #12 of 14
Originally Posted by Mr. Bigdeal View Post

Chuck Schumer....the second most repulsive man in NY.....Fishes ? I got two words for him............

Happy Hanukkah LL.jpg
post #13 of 14
If I recall correctly, NY is paying the price for repeatedly overfishing their quota. It's not surprising that they would like to have us share in their pain. We should tell them to go pound salt.
post #14 of 14
Here's a little debate from the last time NY tried to pull this crap:

I thought this summed it up pretty well, from Vinneb:

Absolutely. And for me, this falls squarely within the category of "Be careful what you wish for." A coastwide quota system is great when you're the state creating the overages - only it's not fair to the other states that aren't overfishing their quota on an annual basis. So if you create this precedent, what's to stop other states from increasing their take to claim their piece of the pie? What if stripers were managed this way & all the southern states were catching an inordinate portion of the quota every year, effectively shutting down the fishery for everyone in the Northeast? What kind of outcry do you think there would be at that point? Be very careful what you wish for.[/quote]
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