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August 23, 2001


For more information contact:
Bruce Freeman at 609-292-7794

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife will host a public hearing regarding the ASMFC's proposed modifications to catch limits in the commercial fishery for black sea bass and scup (porgy). These actions were taken at the request of both fishermen and dealers in order to stabilize the catch and maintain commercial markets for these two species.

These changes would modify possession limits for the commercial fishery and become effective later this fall. Because of the short amount of time to act, these changes would have to be made through emergency action by the coastal states. New Jersey's public comment time will be provided during the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting scheduled for:

Thursday, September 6, 2001, 4 p.m.
Galloway Township Library - Jimmie Leeds Road
Absecon, New Jersey
The proposed modifications include an emergency action for black sea bass that would change the existing 2,000 lb. trip limit to a 2,000 lb. weekly possession limit or 300 lb. daily possession limit. The coastwide quota for the fourth quarter of 2001 is 516,939 lbs. If this amount is not stretched out, it will lead to an early closure of the fishery. This action would apply during the fourth quarter (Oct. 1st through Dec. 31st) of the 2001 black sea bass season.

The emergency action for scup would maintain the 2,000 lb. daily possession limit, but would establish a landing limit trigger of 70%. Once the commercial catch is determined to reach about 496,000 lbs. (70% of the Winter II season, 708,469 lbs.), the daily possession limit would be reduced to 500 lbs. This action is intended to allow fishermen to harvest scup throughout the end of the year and would apply beginning Nov. 1st through Dec. 31st (Winter II season) of 2001.