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""Quote of e-mail from Herb Moore at the RFA"
I wouldn't be surprised if our gay gov backed into an MPA by not getting this bill passed.

ASMFC Votes NJ Striped Bass Measures Out-of-Compliance

(Alexandria, VA) ? Today, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) overwhelmingly voted New Jersey out of compliance with the provisions of the striped bass fishery management plan (FMP).

With every state voting NJ out-of-compliance, except NJ of course, the ASMFC has clearly run out of patience with the state. A motion to buy the state more time to get into compliance was not even seconded.

The ASMFC must now forward the noncompliance finding to the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior pursuant to the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act. Upon notification, the Secretary of Commerce has 30 days to review the determination and decide the appropriate action which could include a moratorium on striped bass fishing.

New Jersey has one of the best fall striped bass runs on the East Coast which generates millions of dollars for the state?s economy and adds tremendously to the state?s quality of life. With NJ striper anglers staring down the barrel of a moratorium, the state Senate must act quickly to pass S-1691.

This bill would bring NJ into compliance by establishing a striped bass catch limit of: one fish from 24 to less than 28 inches in length and another of at least 34 inches in length, with the opportunity to retain a ?bonus fish? of at least 28 inches in length under the ?bonus fish? program.

The Assembly version of the bill (A-3007) sponsored primarily by Assemblyman Robert J. Smith (Camden and Gloucester), Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, passed by a unanimous 5-0 vote in committee and 57-17-3 by the full Assembly.

?We?d like to see the Senate make S-1691 a top priority immediately upon returning from their summer recess,? said Herb Moore, Jr., Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). ?New Jersey?s striped bass fishery is in their hands.?

?Not everyone is happy with the measures in this legislation but the RFA supports it with three things in mind: 1) NJ is facing a moratorium on striped bass fishing if the Senate does not pass this bill and get it to the Governor?s office very soon; 2) From Sandy Hook to Cape May there are significant differences in the striped bass fishery that must be considered to give all NJ anglers a shot to take home a striper for dinner; 3) Abundance of fish of different sizes can occur from year to year, the widest spread of size limits will help to assure that anglers have a consistent opportunity to take home a striper,? concluded Mr. Moore. ?The RFA is not thrilled with the position NJ is in but we are playing the hand that?s been dealt.?

The Recreational Fishing Alliance is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation?s saltwater fisheries. For more information, call 1-888-JOIN-RFA.
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