ASMFC Summer Flounder Management Board to Consider New Jersey Conservation Equivalency Proposal for 2017
The Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board has accepted a request by the State of New Jersey to consider a proposal for conservationally‐equivalent management measures for the 2017 recreational summer flounder fishery. The action responds to New Jersey’s concern about the lack of availability of large fish (19” or greater) in state waters.
In February 2017, the Board approved regional management for the 2017 recreational summer flounder fishery, requiring all states (with the exception of North Carolina) to implement a one‐inch increase in size limit and a reduced possession limit. These measures are required in order to stay within the 2017 recreational harvest limit. New Jersey has contended a one‐inch increase in size will have significant economic impacts to its recreational and for‐hire industries, since 19” fish have reduced availability in its waters.
The next step in the process is for the Technical Committee to review New Jersey’s proposal, which is anticipated to occur next week. The Board will then meet via conference call to receive the Technical Committee’s review and consider action on the proposal. If the proposal is accepted by the Board, New Jersey will have until May 21st to implement the approved measures. If conservationally‐equivalent measures are not approved, New Jersey will need to implement the following measures by May 21st or the Commission will move forward with a non‐compliance finding.
Shore mode for Island Beach State Park only:
17‐inch minimum size limit; 2‐fish possession limit and 128‐day open season.
Delaware Bay only (west of the colregs line):
18‐inch minimum size limit; 3‐fish possession limit and 128‐day open season.
All other marine waters (east of the colregs line):
19‐inch minimum size limit; 3‐fish possession limit and 128‐day open season