Written by Linc Bedrosian
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.
Read the full story at the Courier-Post>>
NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.
We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.Read more...
A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.
Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species, allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.Read more...