Listen: Audio clips from SHEP ON FISHING. WOND Radio. Dec. 22, 2018.
Mid-Atlantic approved slot option on fluke, aka summer flounder. BUT….Bill Shillingford, aka Bucktail Willie says that could be a problem. It might have an impact on the # of fishing days.
Modern Fish Act was recently passed by the House and Senate.
Now headed to President Trump for his signature. This could provide more flexibility. While mainly focused on red fish in the Gulf of Mexico, it could benefit the Northern Atlantic fishery as well.
Modern Fish Act gives federal managers the tools and data they need to both improve access and promote conservation of natural marine resources. The Modern Fish Act could mean more and better fishing.
South Jersey Fishing. Bad Data Hurting Recreational Anglers. Offshore Wind Turbines Coming?
Bill Shillingford: pushing for a ‘slot fish’ for past 8 years. Recreational fishing industry is slowly dying. It’s expensive too.
Data collection is flawed. Too random. Data collected by those with little to no, real fishing experience. ‘These scientists spend very little time on the water’. Charter and party boat captains not being properly interviewed or documented.
MRIC: Maritime Research Information Center. Supposed to be sampling data to track populations, NOT set regulations.
The NOAA ship, Bigelow, is the newest vessel assigned to the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center.
The Bigelow is accused of collecting faulty data that hurts South Jersey recreational fishing.
The Bigelow is supposed to protect, restore and manage the use of living marine, coastal, and ocean resources. Its primary objective is the study and monitoring of northeast and mid-Atlantic marine fisheries and marine mammals, ranging from Maine to North Carolina.
Recreational fishing is declining due to rising costs and poor likelihood of taking some fish home.
Many charters and party boats have left the South Jersey area. Most headed south, to places like Florida. Burdensome NJ State fishing regulations are chasing away the small fishing businesses.
It’s been regularly suggested, that New Jersey politicians don’t seem to care about the states 2nd largest industry. Outgoing NJ Congressman, Frank LoBiondo, left much to be desired. LoBiondo’s understanding of South Jersey fishing has been limited at best. To date, NJ State Senator Chris Brown has also exhibited a muted interest in this key, economic industry of South Jersey.
Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Federal law.
- Potential of 11-14% increase on Flounder for 2019.
- Sea Bass could be in decline? Data collection is so frustrating.
- Striped Bass. Migration patterns changing?
When 13-17 inches… the summer flounder stock was growing. When 18 inches became the rule, the summer flounder population flattened out.
18 & 19 inch fluke (summer flounder) are the female breeders. Insane that current regulations prefer that we keep the breeders. All other sizes, less than 18’’, must be thrown back. Anywhere from 30 to 50% of these throwbacks, die. That’s called the ‘mortality rate’.
- Since 1995, the flounder pop had declined.
- At 17 inches, it flattened.
- At 18 inches, it started to decline.
Back in the day when South Jersey anglers could take home 10 flounder at 13 inches, the fishery was robust and growing.
OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES. Clean energy source, or fish and wildlife menace?
Reduces need for dirty energy that makes its way to the waterways and ocean. It has to be done right. Wind turbines can be 600 to 1,000 ft tall.
Capt. Paul Eidman represents ‘Anglers For Offshore Windpower’. Eidman is a NJ recreational fisheries advocate.
- Recreational & commercial fishing industry needs to be represented in this wind turbine discussion.
- How much is being done to protect the fishery and related jobs?
Ocean floor lease areas are handled by BOOEM, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. They are the so-called ‘landlord’ of waters from 3 miles t0 250 miles out.
Identifying the WEA… wind energy area. These areas are supposedly OUT of known bird migration routes. Will birds keep away from the towers? Birds typically have a ‘lane’?
Seismic testing is typically used for offshore gas & oil exploration. For research regarding placement and building of wind turbines, they typically use sonar instead.
The underwater foundation of wind turbines (pilings, footings) creates an artificial reef, attracting fish and other marine life.
Bill Shillingford: Beach replenishment and coastal dredging destroys underwater structures. This not only negatively impacts the South Jersey fishery, but does little to stop the main culprit of coastal flooding: back bay surge.
Currently, the only wind farm in the country is the waters of Block Island, off of Rhode Island. It powers 17,000 homes & businesses there.
The next New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting is 5p, January 5 at the Atlantic County Public Library in Galloway Township. Up for discussion: recent developments from the Federal Management meetings.