Saw this posted by the JCAA President Paul Haertel on multiple sites.
Looks like the 2014 NJ Fluke Regulations will be 4 fish at 18" with a 128 day season
At today’s meeting, the ASMFC voted in favor of regionalized management for fluke in effect reallocating some of New Jersey’s fluke quota and giving it to New York. Further, of the two regionalization plans being considered, they chose the worse one for New Jersey. Under the adopted plan, New Jersey will be in a region with New York and Connecticut. Under this plan we will have a 4 fish bag limit at 18” with a 128 day season. The NJMFC will now only be able to decide when the season will begin and when it will end. Under this plan New Jersey is only projected to harvest 906,348 fluke. If the other regional option had been chosen New Jersey would have had a 135 day season with a projected harvest of 947,337 fluke.
Further the ASMFC disregarded the will of the public. Hearings were held in various states and there was a public comment period where the vast majority of the public opposed the regionalized plans. Additionally, the ASMFC claimed they wanted to have similar sized regulations between bordering states but all they did was shift the problem. Last year New York had a 19” size limit and New Jersey had a 17 ½” size limit despite the fact that they were fishing similar waters. This year both New York and New Jersey will have an 18” size limit. However, Delaware will have a 16” size limit. How is that fair for our boats out of Cape May that fish similar waters?
The little bit of good news today was that the ASMFC voted not to have a closed season on winter flounder. Now we just have to wait for the NJMFC to adopt that measure.
The ASMFC also voted in favor of ad hoc regional measures for sea bass as we had last year.
I am hopeful that since New Jersey under fished its target quota that we might be able to have a somewhat longer season this year but that remains to be seen.