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New Jersey Senate Unanimously Passes Striper Bill

The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is pleased to report that the New Jersey Senate unanimously (34-0) passed the legislation necessary to avoid a federal striped bass fishing moratorium earlier today.

With NJ's current striped bass measures being voted "out of compliance" with the federal fishery management plan, the state was facing a federal moratorium on striped bass fishing if the state did not pass the necessary legislation today.

?We are very pleased Senate President Richard Codey and Senator Bob Smith agreed to fast track this legislation to bring NJ into compliance with the federal fishery management plan,? said Herb Moore, Jr., RFA Counsel and Director of Government Affairs. ?The RFA has worked for months to prevent a shutdown of this fishery which would have been a disaster for our members in New Jersey including individual anglers, party and charter boat businesses, bait and tackle retailers, marinas, and other businesses in coastal communities.?

Upon the Governor's signature today, new striped bass measures will be one fish of at least 24 inches but less than 28 inches in length and one fish 34 inches or greater. Anglers with striped bass bonus tags may still use them to retain fish 28 inches or greater.

Senator Codey authorized a special hearing on the bill for 9:30 a.m. this morning in the Senate Environment Committee chaired by Senator Smith, and the bill was considered during the Senate's quorum call at noon after it was approved by the Committee. Longtime recreational fishing advocates in the Senate Minority such as Senator Andy Ciesla, Senator Len Connors, and Senator Joe Palaia agreed to post the necessary votes to consider the bill on emergency.

?We?ve been told that key members of the Senate have received ?tons? of postcards from RFA members respectfully urging them to make this striped bass legislation a top priority,? said Mr. Moore. ?Our voices were heard.?

"Interestingly, it was noted in the Senate Chamber that Senator Nicholas Scutari of Linden recently caught a 38 inch striper!"

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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