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PRESS RELEASE ON BILL A 2165 BILL THAT WOULD OPEN NETTING ON STRIPED BASS IN NEW JERSEY


JERSEY COAST ANGLERS ASSOCIATION
Working For the Saltwater Resource and Marine Anglers
1201 Route 37 East, Toms River NJ 08753
Phone 732-506-6565 Fax 732-506-6975
Web site http://www.jcaa.org


NEW JERSEY FEDERATION OF SPORTSMEN'S CLUBS
Working For The Sportspersons Of New Jersey
190 Oberlin Road North, Lakewood NJ 08701
Phone 732-905-0755 Fax 732-905-5261
Web Site http://www.njsfsc.org/


As you can see from the press release below, the commercial fishermen are on the attack against striped bass. Since they have destroyed many other species by their overfishing, bycatch and underreported landings, they have now set their sights on striped bass in New Jersey. They have intorduced a bill A2165 that would allow for the netting of Striped Bass in NJ. We cannot allow this to happen. This calls for immediate action on our part. This legislation was introduced by Assemblyman Asselta, Republican from Cape May (phone 609-691-3004, fax 609-691-3234) and Assemblyman Impreveduto, Democrat, Bergen County (phone 201-348-1134, fax 201-348-1362). Their addresses are Assemblyman Nicholas Asselta, Sun Bank Building, 226 West Landis Avenue, Second Floor, Vineland, NJ 08360 and Assemblyman Anthony Impreveduto, 400 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, NJ 07094-3605. You must contact them immediately and tell them to withdraw this bill. Allclubs need to write or fax and individual members and other recreational anglers must do so as well. If you live in their district, tell them so.

New Jersey decided to do away with a bycatch fishery for striped bass in 1952 because that it was simply a guise for a directed net fishery. The recreational community has worked very hard to return striped bass to a viable recreational fishery. It is one of the few species where our management efforts have paid off. Now the commercial fishermen want to reap the harvest of all our hard work and put another fishery into collapse.

In his comments in the following press release, Mr. Reichle states that the striped bass has recovered and there are more than we know what to do with. I guess Mr. Reichle doesn't fish much. If he did he would realize there are more striped bass because recreational anglers haven't been taking many home due to current size limits. We are catching many small striped bass but few keepers. The recreational and subsistence anglers have few opportunities to take home striped bass because there are few keeper size available. Why would we want to put them back in the ocean so he can net them? One net full of striped bass will be more taken from the ocean than hundreds of recreational anglers have taken home to eat in the last three years. Our message needs to be loud, clear and immediate. We will not tolerate the opening of the striped bass fishery to commercial interests in
any way.

In addition, Mr. Reichle needs to get his facts straight. The Atlantic States Fisheries Commission manages striped bass and they have not said that there are more striped bass than ever before. If necessary, we can produce records that clearly dispute his statements about the numbers of striped bass available, especially the numbers of large striped bass. He also states that the commercial fishery was shut down in 1991 but fails tomention that they were initially closed in the 1980's due to PCB contamination. The only commercial fishery in existence in 1991 was a hook and line commercial fishery. The bycatch fishery had been closed since 1952 and other loopholes were closed in the late 70's. If we have this debate it need to be on the facts.

JCAA is not looking for a war with the commercial community. This legislation could result in a full scale war between our communities. This is not what we want and we are calling on reasonable commercial fishermen to address this issue and get this bill withdrawn. We will not back down on this issue. JCAA fought this battle before and made striped bass a gamefish in New Jersey. No one should doubt that we have the resources to do it again and tackle other issues as well. 

Tom Fote
Legislative Chairman
Jersey Coast Anglers Association
New Jersey Federation of Sportsman's Clubs
Phone 732-270-9102
Fax 732-506-6409
Email tfote@jcaa.org


Press Release
Seafood for Consumers Coalition

For Immediate Release
June 4, 1998
Contact: Jeff Reichle (609) 729-9050



NEW JERSEY GROUP CALLS ON STATE TO MAKE STRIPED BASS AVAILABLE TO
CONSUMERS

Trenton - The Seafood for Consumers Coalition urged New Jersey State lawmakers to support legislation introduced today by Assemblyman Asselta and Assemblyman Impreveduto that would reauthorize and regulate the sale of striped bass in New Jersey. Wild-caught striped bass has been unavailable to New Jersey consumers since 1991.

"The time has come to reintroduce this nutritious species back into the marketplace and allow New Jersey families the same dietary choices enjoyed by seafood consumers throughout other eastern seaboard states," said Jeff Reichle of Lund's Fisheries, a Cape May seafood wholesaler. "This is a great success story for fishery conservation. According to the National
Marine Fisheries Service, there are more striped bass now than at any time since records have been kept. It is only fair that all New Jersey citizens share this public resource."

"This legislation, A-2165, acknowledges that striped bass is extremely important to sport fishermen, and will not reduce the total allowable catch allocated for their use. In addition to allowing striped bass availability to consumers in supermarkets, restaurants and other retail outlets, it will also support increased scientific research and regulation by directly funding the NJ Department of Environmental Protection."

"The intent of this legislation is to restore the opportunity for New Jersey seafood consumers to gain purchase fresh, wild-caught striped bass that is currently unavailable to them, and to promote the continued conservation of this marine resource," Reichle concluded.

Release For Tomorrow
Tom Fote



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