Bill HR 3070, sponsored by Representative Zeldin of New York would allow fishing for striped bass in a portion of the EEZ off Montauk and out towards Block Island and Rhode Island. We all know that opening of the EEZ for striped bass would result in more stripers being killed at a time we are supposed to be conserving them. JCAA is on top of this and is in the process of contacting our Senators and Representatives to make certain that they oppose this bill. A sample letter is below and I urge other organizations, clubs and individuals to write a similar letters to their senators and representatives.
Paul Haertel - JCAA board member, past President
Senator Cory Booker 3/1/16
359 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
On February 2, 2016, Representative Lee Zeldin sponsored Bill HR 3070, and its title is "The EEZ Clarification Act". The purpose of the letter is to inform you that the Jersey Coast Anglers Association (JCAA) is strongly opposed to this legislation. Let me explain:
The JCAA is an association of approximately 75 fishing clubs that has fought hard to protect the stocks of striped bass, especially when the stocks of this fishery were decimated during the 1970's and early 1980's. The JCAA was chiefly responsible for making striped bass a no-sale or game fish in New Jersey, so that it could not be harvested by commercial anglers or sold in our state. This designation helped the coastal stocks of striped bass to recover significantly.
Due to their decline, fishing for stripers in the Economic Exclusion Zone (EEZ) that is in federal waters, was prohibited by federal regulations. This was done so that the EEZ could provide a sanctuary for striped bass and to help ensure that the stocks would attain and remain at healthy levels. Opening up this EEZ to the harvesting of striped bass would threaten the stocks of this fishery to a level that we would not want to see again repeated.
In recent years our striped bass stocks have once again been decreasing and in 2015 both commercial and recreational anglers were forced by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to reduce their harvest by 25%. Therefore, it does not make sense that while the ASMFC is trying keep the stocks of striped bass healthy, the EEZ would be opened to allow more striped bass to be harvested. Opening the EEZ in this area would also set a bad precedent in that other states might seek to open areas of the EEZ off their coasts.
Please do not allow HR 3070 to become law.
President, Jersey Coast Anglers Association