ASSEMBLY, No. 2165
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED JUNE 11, 1998
Assemblyman NICHOLAS ASSELTA
District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)
Assemblyman ANTHONY IMPREVEDUTO
District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)
Authorizes and regulates sale of striped bass.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning striped bass, amending P.L.1987, c.83 and P.L.1991, c.43, and amending and supplementing P.L.1983, c.506.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.1983, c.506 (C.23:5-44) is amended to read as follows:
2. As used in this act:
a. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1985, c.211).
b. "Marine waters" means all the salt waters of this State, including the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and all bays, inlets and estuarine waters located below the freshwater portion of any river, stream or creek, but shall not include any of the freshwaters of this State as defined in R.S.23:1-2;
c. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1985, c.211).
d. "Spearfishing" means the taking of striped bass by means of a spear, harpoon, or other missile, while the swimmer is completely submerged in marine waters, but shall not include the use of blinding lights for the purpose of spearing striped bass, or spears, harpoons or other missiles with exploding heads;
e. "Striped bass" means a game fish of the species "Morone saxatilis" commonly referred to as rockfish, rock or striper ;
f. "Charter fishing" means fishing from a vessel carrying a passenger for hire, as defined pursuant to 46 U.S.C. s.2102 (21a), who is engaged in recreational fishing;
g. "Commercial fishing" means fishing in which the fish harvested, either in whole or in part, are intended to enter commerce or enter commerce through sale or barter;
h. "Recreational fishing" means fishing for sport or pleasure .
(cf: P.L.1995, c.107, s.1)
2. Section 1 of P.L.1987, c.83 (C.23:5-45.1) is amended to read as follows:
1. a. Except as permitted pursuant to [subsection] subsections c. or d. of this section, a person shall not take from the marine waters of the State in any one day, or have in his possession at any time, more than two striped bass. The minimum size limit for any striped bass taken in accordance with this subsection shall be 28 inches in length.
b. The possession of any striped bass or parts of a striped bass from which the head or tail has been removed other than immediately prior to preparation or being served as food or by a licensed seafood wholesaler in preparation for delivery to a retailer , which is less than the minimum size limits specified [in] pursuant to subsections a. [and] , c. , or d., as appropriate, of this section shall be presumed to be a violation of this section.
c. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection, by public notice placed in the New Jersey Register, shall establish management measures for striped bass in and upon the marine waters of the State, which management measures shall be consistent with the Striped Bass Management Plan of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Upon the approval of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, these management measures shall provide for the taking in one day, or the possession at any time, of striped bass in addition to the two striped bass permitted pursuant to subsection a. of this section and shall include the size and quantity limits and the areas and the seasons for the taking of such additional striped bass. Ten percent of any quota for the striped bass commercial fishery in New Jersey allocated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission shall be applied toward the bonus recreational fishery for striped bass authorized pursuant to this subsection.
The department shall monitor the catch provided for in this subsection and provide for its discontinuance as necessary to keep the State in compliance with the allowances of the commission.
d. Upon the approval of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission if necessary, and according to such size limits, area restrictions, seasonal restrictions, and other requirements as may be established by the department with the approval of the Marine Fisheries Council created pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1979, c.199 (C.23:2B-4), a commercial fishing vessel may take and possess up to 200 pounds of striped bass per day as a by-catch with other species of fish taken by legal means, provided that the by-catch of striped bass does not exceed 25% by weight of the total catch of all species for the day by the vessel.
The department shall monitor the by-catch provided for in this subsection and provide for its discontinuance as necessary to keep the State in compliance with the allowances of the commission. The monitoring required pursuant to this subsection shall be conducted by establishment of dockside recordkeeping procedures and institution by the department of a system whereby each striped bass taken as a by-catch shall be marked by the vessel operator with a red tag, which tag shall be obtained from the department for a fee of $2 per tag. All such tag fees collected by the department or its agents shall be deposited in the Striped Bass Management Fund established pursuant to section 4 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (now before the Legislature as this bill).
(cf: P.L.1995, c.107, s.2)
3. Section 2 of P.L.1991, c.43 (C.23:5-45.3) is amended to read as follows:
2. [No] a. Except as authorized pursuant to subsection b. of this section, no person shall sell, barter, possess for sale or barter, or offer for sale or barter any striped bass [, whether] caught within the jurisdictional limits of this State [or otherwise] , provided that this section shall not prohibit the shipment or transportation of striped bass from another state or country into the State which is destined for shipment or transportation out of the State or prohibit the sale of commercially raised hybrid striped bass.
b. (1) Any by-catch of striped bass legally taken and possessed as authorized, and tagged as required, pursuant to subsection d. of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.83 (C.23:5-45.1) may be sold, bartered, possessed for sale or barter, or offered for sale or barter.
(2) Any striped bass legally taken while charter fishing and possessed as authorized pursuant to subsections a. or c. of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.83 (C.23:5-45.1) may be sold, bartered, possessed for sale or barter, or offered for sale or barter, but only if it has been marked with a blue tag, which tag shall be obtained from the department for a fee of $2.00 per tag. All such tag fees collected by the department or its agents shall be deposited in the Striped Bass Management Fund established pursuant to section 4 of P.L. , c. (C. ) (now before the Legislature as this bill).
(3) The department, with the approval of the Marine Fisheries Council, may adopt, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to implement this section, including but not limited to rules and regulations establishing procedures, limitations, or other requirements on the sale, barter, possession for sale or barter, or offer for sale or barter of striped bass.
c. Notwithstanding any provision of this section or any other law to the contrary, the department, in consultation with the Department of Health and Senior Services and the Marine Fisheries Council created pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1979, c.199 (C.23:2B-4), and at any time and without prior public notice if necessary, may prohibit or restrict, or issue advisories with respect to, the sale, barter, possession for sale or barter, or offer for sale or barter, of striped bass taken from any stock thereof deemed to be sufficiently contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, heavy metals, or other hazardous substances, or diseased, so as to constitute an actual or potential threat to human health.
(cf: P.L.1991, c.43, s.2)
4. Section 5 of P.L.1983, c.506 (C.23:5-47) is amended to read as follows:
5. [No] Except as otherwise authorized pursuant to subsection d. of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.83 (C.23:5-45.1), no person shall take, catch or kill a striped bass from or in any of the marine waters of this State by means of a net or by any method other than by hook and line or by spearfishing as defined. Nothing in this section shall preclude the use of a landing net or gaff in landing a striped bass caught on hook and line, except that it shall be unlawful to foul hook striped bass.
(cf: P.L.1985, c.211, s.3)
5. (New section) There is established in the Department of Environmental Protection a dedicated, nonlapsing fund to be known as the "Striped Bass Management Fund." All striped bass tag fees collected pursuant to subsection d. of section 1 of P.L.1987, c.83 (C.23:5-45.1) and paragraph (2) of subsection b. of section 2 of P.L.1991, c.43 (C.23:5-45.3) shall be deposited in the fund. Any earnings on the investment of moneys in the fund shall be credited to the fund. Moneys in the fund shall be dedicated, and shall be allocated to the department and expended, only for the purpose of funding striped bass management programs, activities, and research undertaken by or at the direction of the department.
6. This act shall take effect on the 180th day after the date of enactment, but the Department of Environmental Protection may take such anticipatory action in advance thereof as shall be necessary to implement the act.
This bill would reauthorize and regulate the sale of striped bass in New Jersey. The bill would allow commercial fishermen, under certain conditions, to take and possess a by-catch of striped bass of up to 200 pounds per day, provided the by-catch is not more than 25% by weight of the total catch of all species for the day by the vessel. Under certain conditions, commercial fishermen would be able to sell this by-catch, and recreational anglers would be able to sell striped bass they have caught while charter fishing. Sales of striped bass by both commercial and recreational fishermen would be regulated and monitored through establishment of a tagging system. Tags would cost $2 each and the revenue obtained therefrom would be dedicated to funding striped bass management programs, activities, and research undertaken by or at the direction of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Also, under the bill, the DEP would be authorized to prohibit or restrict the sale or barter of contaminated or diseased striped bass. Finally, the bill would dedicate 10% of the State's commercial striped bass fishery allocation by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to support the bonus striped bass fishery program for recreational anglers.
The intent of this bill is to better control the taking of striped bass, properly manage the species, and restore to seafood consumers in the State the opportunity to again purchase a product they are being denied by the law currently in place.