Ventnor’s Mike Shepherd Shep On Fishing

Shep on Fishing New Jersey
Sat, 7am, WOND Radio, 1400 AM.

The more we screw with our South Jersey coastal environment, the greater chance of hurting fragile fishing and undersea life. Nobody knows this better than Ventnor’s Mike Shepherd.

Saturday mornings at 7a on WOND Radio, ‘Shep on Fishing’ covers the latest in fishing news. Michael Shepherd is a retired sports editor from The Press of Atlantic City.

Listen: Shep On Fishing w/ Guest, Tom Fote

Marine and Outdoor Sports and Attractions by the Sea. Even boat building.

Commercial and recreational fishing. Some of our biggest economic engines that were supposed to boost the region’s diversification plans. No dice. Just over-development on every square inch of Absecon Island. The industrialization of our shores, ex: outfall sewer pipes, man-made dunes, dredging, offshore wind turbines.

Congress needs to allocate money in order to have better research. Agencies like NJ Fish & Wildlife are not helping.

What’s economic impact on South Jersey?

New Jersey. Fresh Water Fishing. Saltwater Fishing.

Will NJ Congressman Jeff Van Drew step up and help local fishermen? Was not a top priority for former NJ Congressman, Frank Lobiondo.

Lobiondo was more of a dredging & dune building guy. That’s where the big money is. Especially if you have a 50 year deal in place.

Dredging can be described as scraping the sea bottom. Undersea strip-mining. Just offshore. This literally destroys critical ecosystems. Negatively affects nourishment (bait fish) within the food chain.

Shep (L) & Friends.

Making things worse. The threat of offshore wind turbines along the South Jersey coast. A record breaking forest of 850 ft tall wind turbines. All view-able from the beach?

Power sub-stations and hundreds of miles of undersea cabling. We hear this industrial hardware leaks electromagnetic waves of some sort. Could screw up migration of various species. Will draggers get caught? How close can commercial fishermen get to the turbines? Bird kill.

Mortality catch and release. By forcing throwbacks, we’re hurting fish stocks. Large percentage of throwbacks…. die.

Pro and con of splitting state in half, for summer flounder. North and South Jersey.

NJ DEP & ACOE are destroying offshore lumps. Using that environmentally critical sand for beach replenishment and questionable dune building.

Representatives from Jersey Coast Anglers Association often call into the show.

Tom Fote is a great guest. Fote brings recreational representation and fairness to fisheries management.

  • Jersey Coast Anglers Association. Fote is the full-time legislative chairman.
  • Fote opened what was once, a closed-door process. Opened participation to all fishermen.
  • Serves on numerous boards and commissions involved with protecting the marine environment.
  • Coalition builder. Bringing environmentalists, commercial and recreational fishermen together.

Recreational fishermen not even catching current maximum allowed. Data shows that summer flounder was not over-fished. Over-fishing was not taking place.

New recreational numbers for striped bass came out. Like that…we went from striped bass NOT being over-fished, to striped bass being over-fished. What gives?
Same thing happening with bluefish. New numbers say bluefish could be over-fished, and over-fishing may be occurring. How accurate is this data?

Recreational numbers need to be more accurate. Flaws found in interpretation of the data.

Striped Bass: Complete disregard for data about hook and release mortality.

Catch and release anglers and charter boats wanted to end the opportunity to keep a striped bass during particular seasons. They realize this would have no impact on them since they release everything. They would continue to fish and release their catch, adding to the overall mortality.

Habitat issues contribute to the problem. Loss of habitat. Reductions of inshore fisheries in New Jersey. Beach replenishment is factor.
Will another catch reduction solve the problem?

A 25% reduction in 2018. Then another 18% reduction? This did not and will not solve the problem. Another reduction will only penalize recreational anglers who simply want to take a fish home to eat. Presumption: there will be a reduction in Striped Bass catch in 2020. This will increase hook & release mortality rate. Throwbacks that die.

Poor marketing and awareness of the problem. Local media does poor job of covering one of NJ’s top industries.
Solve the problem rather than repeat past mistakes.

Government and politicians need to listen to anglers. Economic impact to State of New Jersey. Losing trips, boats, recreational anglers.
800,000 anglers in New Jersey. Need to find ways to keep those anglers fishing in New Jersey.

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