What’s Up With Fluke, Sea Bass & Porgies?  Learn More March 2 - The Fisherman

What’s Up With Fluke, Sea Bass & Porgies?  Learn More March 2

The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (Council) is scheduled to meet at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 at the Atlantic County Library, Galloway Branch at 306 E Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway where it’s expected that the 2023 regulations for summer flounder, black sea bass and porgies will be finalized.  Anglers with a preference for how these final regulations ultimately shake out are encouraged to attend.

A volunteer group, the Council is responsible for advising the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on various issues and management programs related to marine fishery resources.  These public meetings are typically held six times a year and provide the opportunity for saltwater anglers and recreational industry leaders to provide input on management measures.

In the spring of 2022, the Council voted to implement a slot limit for fluke choosing from one of four options approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and moved forward by the Council’s advisory committee. While the slot option was not the preferred option of the advisors (three fluke at 17-1/2 inches with a May 21 to September 23 season), during the public comment portion of the Council meeting members of the public spoke in favor of the “slot” by a nearly 2-1 ratio; final approval came by way of a 6-2 vote by the Council, and it’s expected that the same fluke limits will be in place again for 2023.

In terms of fluke and sea bass, the public will be able to weigh in on a suite of options intended to meet a federally required 10% reduction in recreational harvest.

By statute, the Council should have 11 members made up of recreational and commercial fishermen, fish processors, the general public and the Atlantic Coast and Delaware Bay sections of the Shellfisheries Council; currently there are two open seats at the Council yet to be filled by New Jersey governor Phil Murphy since late 2020, one “at large” public seat and the other a seat belonging to the recreational fishing community.

At the January 5th meeting of Council, Jeff Brust, the chief Bureau of Marine Fisheries, said an open solicitation of possible candidates to fill the empty seats produced a few applicants who warranted further review.  “We’re in the process of internally deciding what recommendations we want passed to the governor,” Brust said at the Council meeting in January.   “We didn’t get the response we wanted, there are some questions if we reopen it or do we work with what we have,” he told members of the Council, adding “I don’t have a firm answer for you but just an update that we are still moving forward in the process, we do have some applicants I just don’t know where we go with it from here.”

To confirm date and time of the March 2 meeting contact the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Marine Fisheries Administration at 609-292-7794



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