President's Report

by John Toth
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association May 2017 Newsletter)

In my President's column, I refer to a number of ongoing issues that are of interest to you. More detailed accounts of them are in other sections of this newsletter. Please refer to them.

As I write this column, we are in a "holding pattern" with the 19-inch fluke situation. At the request of DEP Commissioner, Bob Martin, our representatives to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) filed an appeal of the ASMFC's decision to reduce our 2017 fluke quota. This quota reduction resulted in the 19-inch fluke for this upcoming fishing season. I have written a more detailed account of what is going on with this 19-inch fluke issue in another section of this newsletter.

On April 3rd, I and other members of the JCAA (Tom Fote, Paul Haertel), attended a meeting hosted by John Bullard, Regional Administrator of the U.S, Department of Commerce, NOAA, to receive input from members of the recreational community of issues we are most concerned about. To say it bluntly, Mr. Bullard has been no friend of ours and he has voted numerous times against the recreational community. A number of those invited to this meeting refused to come to it because of his positions against us. I wrote a letter to him on a JCAA letterhead requesting him to respond to several major issues raised at this meeting primarily by Tom Fote, Ray Bogan and Adam Nowalsky. This letter is in another section and you will find this letter interesting to read!

Also, don't forget the Governor's Surf Tournament coming up on May 21st. Please see the detailed information for this tournament in this newsletter.

In order to continue our work on these issues and better represent you, we need your help in our fundraising efforts. We are currently embroiled in the debate over the 2017 fluke regulations. We have attended many meetings, participated in conference calls, written letters, made phone calls and met with various key individuals about this issue. We, along with other groups, have gained the support of our Governor, DEP Commissioner, various legislators, the NJ representatives on the ASMFC and members of the NJMFC. We are all working together to oppose the draconian regulations mandated upon us by the ASMFC. We are also seeking a larger quota increase for sea bass and we are fighting to stop the mining of our offshore lumps to prevent the destruction of vital marine habitat. We are seeking ways to provide much needed funding to the NJ Marine Fisheries Bureau. We are also pushing hard for improved science so that our fisheries can be better managed. We need your help in ensuring the success of these important issues. We are one of the very few recreational salt water advocacy groups that work exclusively for New Jersey anglers. As in past years, our fundraising efforts have a strong influence on our budget and what we can accomplish throughout the year. It costs money to send delegates to meetings, to meet with legislators, print newsletters, pay office expenses and fund day-to-day operations. This is why we appreciate your continued support.

Please support us purchasing our High Roller raffle booklets that will be mailed to you along with our 50/50 tickets and they will also available at our meetings. Also, please participate in JCAA's 23rd annual Fluke Tournament that will be held on August 5th. Thank you for your continued support!

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