NJ DEPARTMENT of ENVIRONMENTAL
NATURAL AND HISTORIC RESOURCES
DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
Notice of Rule Proposal
Marine Fisheries: Marine Fisheries, N.J.A.C. 7:25-18
Take notice that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection is proposing amendments to the rules governing the management and harvest of certain fish within the State at N.J.A.C. 7:25-18. On July 20, 2015, the Department proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:25-14, Crab and Lobster Management and N.J.A.C. 7:25-18, Marine Fisheries (see 47 N.J.R. 1815(a)). The adoption of the majority of those proposed amendments appears in the June 6, 2016 issue of the New Jersey Register with the exception of the amendments proposed at N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.5(g)5iii and (g)6iii, relating to gill nets. The Department determined that the proposed amendments that would limit the use of one drifting or staked/anchored gill net, with a mesh size that is four inches or greater when stretched, in the Atlantic Ocean from September 1 through December 15 provided the net was tended at all times, which were intended to minimize the capture and discard of striped bass in the fall when striped bass discard mortality tends to be higher, were too restrictive. The Department has determined that fishermen can tend two nets at the same time without causing a significant increase in the number of striped bass taken as by-catch. The proposed amendments will also minimize the mortality of by-catch of federally listed endangered Atlantic sturgeon. This proposal also clarifies that smaller mesh nets are not subject to the limitations proposed for larger mesh nets and can still be used during the period of September 1 through December 15.
The proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey Register dated June 6, 2016. A copy of the proposal is available at: http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/proposals/20160606a.pdf, and the LexisNexis free public access to the New Jersey Register can be found at, www.lexisnexis.com/njoal.
Written comments may be submitted electronically by August 5, 2016 at http://www.nj.gov/dep/rules/comments or in hard copy to:
Ryan H. Knapick, Esq.
Attn: DEP Docket Number: 06-16-05
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Legal Affairs
Mail Code 401-04L, PO Box 402
401 East State Street, Floor 7
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402