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ACTION ALERT FROM RFA-NJ CHAPTER
"POTS OFF REEF" BILL PASSES THROUGH SENATE COMMITTEE

For the third time in as many legislative sessions, the Pots off the Reefs bill has been reported successfully out of the NJ Senate Environment and Energy Committee.

Senate Bill number 221 (S 221) introduced by Sen. Sean T. Kean and co-sponsored by Sen. Jeff Van Drew and Sen. Andrew R. Ciesla will now await action by the full Senate which is not likely to come until a companion Assembly bill progresses. That Assembly bill, A 1152, was recently introduced by Assembly representatives David P. Rible and Mary Pat Angelini, and has eight additional co-sponsors. The assembly version of the Pots off the Reefs bill has been referred to the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

Board members of the New Jersey Chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-NJ) attended this morning's Senate committee hearing on behalf of anglers, and said there's overwhelming public support by recreational anglers in the state to see those reefs freed of fixed gear. "It was a packed committee room in Trenton today, and the RFA-NJ chapter submitted our testimony in person in support of the bill," said RFA-NJ chapter chairman Capt. Adam Nowalsky, adding "we're thrilled that S221 received a unanimous vote, and we're looking forward to seeing this get a full Senate vote in the near future."

Despite the acknowledgement that continuing to allow fixed gear on New Jersey's artificial reefs may subject the state to repayment of federal Sport Fish Restoration fund monies, the legislation had been stalled in the Assembly in recent years. Identical legislation in the last session was never read before committee, and in the prior legislative session the bill was reported out of committee, only to be voted to be tabled when brought before the full Assembly for action.

"Specifically, Director Dave Chanda said the Division of Fish and Wildlife believes it's the right thing to do," Nowalsky said of the today's vote. Nowalsky pointed out that Senator Smith specifically noted the testimony of former reef director Bill Figley as being "devastating" to the opposition's argument against the bill. "Senator Smith said it's important that the public continues to see the benefits of these fishing reefs in support of our recreational fishing community here in New Jersey," said Nowalsky.

As noted in a previous RFA-NJ email alert, the state-approved 2005 Artificial Reef Plan listed the intent of the reef sites as being for hook-and-line and spearfishing activities. For more than 20 years, the administration of the reef program has been funded by donations from anglers and organizations throughout the state, in addition to Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish (Wallop-Breaux) Restoration Funds. Sport Fish Restoration funds are derived from an excise tax on recreational fishing purchases, and federal law requires that these funds be used exclusively to benefit recreational fisheries.

RFA-NJ CHAPTER AT ATLANTIC CITY BOAT SHOW

The RFA-NJ chapter is scheduled to be in place at booth number 858 this week at the Atlantic City Convention Center, as the annual Atlantic City International Boat Show cruises into town again from Wednesday through Sunday of this week. Doors open daily at 11 a.m. through Friday, with special weekend hours starting at 10 a.m.

Back by popular demand are informative fishing classes and seminars produced by The Fisherman magazine. RFA members are reminded that Saturday is RFA Day at the Atlantic City Boat Show, with special seminars focused exclusively on local fishing opportunities and prizes given out throughout the day in the seminar area. Once again, RFA members should remember to bring their updated membership card for five times the chance to win top quality fishing tackle and prizes at the show.

Anyone who signs up for a new or renewal membership at the Atlantic City Boat Show this week will also automatically be entered into a grand prize drawing in late March for an original fish carving; this beautiful hand-carved mahi has been donated by wildlife artist and RFA-NJ board member, Chris Peszka. Come out to Atlantic City this week, check the beautiful piece of art, join the RFA, and get details on the fishermen's rally in Washington DC set for February 24.


For more information, visit www.joinrfa.org.

For details about the AC Boat Show, visit www.acboatshow.com.

About Recreational Fishing Alliance & RFA-NJ
The RFA is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. The RFA-NJ chapter mission is to safeguard the rights of New Jersey's saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation's saltwater fisheries.
For information, visit www.joinrfa.org.
 

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this might sound stupid.. so if they can't pot on the reef's can they pot at the rock pile when seabass opens for them?
Yes they can. It only for artificial reefs since there solely funded by rec fisherman and divers. The argument is why should you make our lives harder with drifting hazards and fishing opportunities if you didn't put in on this.
 

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Yes they can. It only for artificial reefs since there solely funded by rec fisherman and divers. The argument is why should you make our lives harder with drifting hazards and fishing opportunities if you didn't put in on this.
Makes sense to me, but I am sure some will debate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
We are still along way away to get this signed but it is a start. The Assembly committee needs to vote on it before it can go to the Senate and Assembly for a full vote. If it gets passed the Full Senate and Assembly it will then go to be signed.


Will try to keep you informed the best I can.
 

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Here is the history of this legislation:

This is where it died the first time:

A3986 Prohibits the use of certain fishing gear on artificial reefs.
2nd Reading in the Assembly

2/22/2007 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
5/21/2007 Reported out of Assembly Committee, 2nd Reading
1/7/2008 Motion Order of the day (Kean)
1/7/2008 Motion To Table (Watson Coleman) (41-32-0)

S2635 Prohibits the use of certain fishing gear on artificial reefs.
2nd Reading in the Assembly

5/10/2007 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment Committee
11/8/2007 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
1/3/2008 Passed by the Senate (32-0)
1/3/2008 Received in the Assembly without Reference, 2nd Reading
1/7/2008 Motion Order of the day (Kean)
1/7/2008 Motion To Table (Watson Coleman) (41-32-0)


This is where it died the second time:

A1519 Prohibits the use of certain fishing gear on artificial reefs.
Agriculture and Natural Resources

1/8/2008 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

(Was not brought before committee.)

S336 Prohibits the use of certain fishing gear on artificial reefs.
Agriculture and Natural Resources

1/8/2008 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment Committee
2/21/2008 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
10/23/2008 Passed by the Senate (32-4)
10/23/2008 Received in the Assembly, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee


Present status:

A1152 Prohibits the use of certain fishing gear on artificial reefs.
Agriculture and Natural Resources

1/12/2010 Introduced, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

(No scheduled meeting at this time.)

S221 Prohibits the use of certain fishing gear on artificial reefs.
Environment and Energy

1/12/2010 Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment and Energy Committee
2/1/2010 Reported from Senate Committee, 2nd Reading
 

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This is what's next:

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2010

SENATE SESSION 2:00 PM Senate Chambers
Voting Session: Time and Board List to be announced


Unfortunately:

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2010 (continued)

*ASSEMBLY QUORUM
The Assembly Quorum has been CANCELED. C & D Committees will not meet.

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee is in Group D.


Unless they can get their "act" together, this will possibly be the next time A1152 may be heard by the Assembly Committee:

MONDAY, MARCH 8, 2010

ASSEMBLY QUORUM Assembly Chambers
10:00 AM: Group (C) Committees scheduled to meet
2:00 PM: Group (D) Committees scheduled to meet

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/calendar/012910.htm
 

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I dont know much but know the squeaky wheel gets the oil...
In other words, is there a drive to get people to call and write the decision makers?
Seems they care most about getting re-elected, this year in particular and if enough raise enough hell about it we MIGHT stand a shot?
*** Can someone post the contact info to write and call the decision makers? Thanks! :thumbsup:
 

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General Assembly Leadership

Assemblywoman Sheila Y. Oliver (D) (Assembly Speaker)
DISTRICT OFFICE ADDRESS:

15-33 Halsted Street
Suite 202
East Orange, NJ 07018

PHONE NUMBER: (973) 395-1166
FAX NUMBER: (973) 395-1724
EMAIL: [email protected]


Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D) (Majority Leader)
DISTRICT OFFICE ADDRESS:

985 Stuyvesant Ave.
Union, NJ 07083

PHONE NUMBER: (908) 624-0880
FAX NUMBER: (908) 624-0587
EMAIL: [email protected]


Assemblyman Jerry Green (D) (Speaker Pro Tempore)
DISTRICT OFFICE ADDRESS:

17 Watchung Ave.
Plainfield, NJ 07060

PHONE NUMBER: (908) 561-5757
FAX NUMBER: (908) 561-5547
EMAIL: [email protected]


Assemblywoman Joan M. Quigley (D) (Majority Conference Leader)
DISTRICT OFFICE ADDRESS:

235 Ninth Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302

PHONE NUMBER: (201) 217-4614
FAX NUMBER: (201) 217-4617
EMAIL: [email protected]


Call them, write them, fax them, email them. Ask them to have the bill heard in committee! Let them know you want the "Pots Off the Reefs"!
 
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