TRENTON — New Jersey plans to create a new artificial fishing reef north of Barneget Inlet exclusively for the use of recreational fishermen.
It's the result of a compromise announced Thursday in a dispute between recreational and commercial fishing interests over access to artificial reefs off the coast.
Under the plan, commercial fishermen will have continued access to portions of the two existing reefs in state waters, which are off Sandy Hook and Manasquan. But a debate remains on who should have access to reefs in federal waters off New Jersey.
State officials said the agreement is expected to resolve federal concerns that commercial fishing is intruding on and hampering recreational fishing in artificial reefs in state waters, which extend to three miles offshore.
The reefs, which are magnets for fish, are funded by excise taxes on recreational fishing gear and motor boat fuel. Private donations also support the costs of obtaining, cleaning and deploying suitable material to build the reefs.
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National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.