New Jersey anglers will be allowed to keep fewer fluke this year, to the benefit of neighboring New York, under a decision made Tuesday by the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).
New York anglers have complained for years about their strict fluke regulations (in 2013, NY had a 19-inch minimum size and four fish creel limit, while NJ and CT had a 17.5-inch size limit and five fish creel). Since 2002, the system has awarded each state a quota, and the states determine their own regulations to meet that quota. New Jersey has received 39.1 percent and New York 17.6 percent of the East Coast quota.
Measures approved Tuesday establish a regional system, lumping New Jersey, New York and Connecticut into one of four regions. Every state within a region must have the same regulations. While officials from NJ, NY and CT still must meet to determine them, one proposal would include an 18-inch keeper, a four-fish bag limit and 128-day season. (Each state can determine which days fishing is allowed, but it must be the same number of days.)
In a press release, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo called the decision “a big victory for our fishing industries, especially on Long Island.” Tom Fote, a New Jersey representative on the ASMFC, voted against the measure and expressed his displeasure in a Press of Atlantic City article. “Our allocation is basically going to New York. It sets a bad precedent where they basically take fish from one state and give it to another, because New York has been crying for six years,” said Fote.
Another region will include only Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Based on that decision, RI stands to gain fish this year. Massachusetts and Rhode Island will need to meet to decide on the regulations that would apply to both states.
A third region includes Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, which could mean two sets of fluke regulations for the waters of Delaware Bay.
What do you think of regional management – does this decision represent “fluke fairness”? Tell us in the comments.
Click below for the full article:
Press of Atlantic City: “Decision puts more New Jersey fluke on New York hooks for 2014”