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DE/NJ BLACK SEA BASS HEARINGS ON JAN 3 & 4

On January 3 and 4, Delaware and New Jersey respectively hold the first public hearings on black sea bass Draft Addendum XXX for the New Year.
By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  December 26, 2017
DE/NJ BLACK SEA BASS HEARINGS ON JAN 3 & 4
While many boats will be on the hard through January and February, larger vessels like the 125' Jamaica keep sailing through the first quarter of the New Year, even if black sea bass like this jumbo caught just before Christmas may not be on the target menu.

Atlantic states from Massachusetts through Virginia have scheduled public hearings to gather public comment on Draft Addendum XXX to the Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan, beginning with Delaware (January 3) and New Jersey (January 4) in the first week of the New Year.

Draft Addendum XXX was initiated to consider alternative regional management approaches for the recreational fishery, including options for regional allocation of harvest limits based primarily on state history in the fishery. The draft addendum also includes an option for coastwide management should a regional approach not be approved for management.

Since 2012, the recreational fishery has been managed under an ad-hoc regional management approach, whereby the states of Massachusetts through New Jersey have individually crafted measures aimed at reducing harvest by the same percent, while the states of Delaware through North Carolina have set their regulations consistent with the federal waters measures.

The Delaware public hearing on the new black sea bass management proposal will start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, January 3 at the DNREC Shoreline & Waterway Services Facility at 901 Pilottown Road, in Lewes, DE. Anglers should take note that meeting place doors will not open until 5:30 p.m. (for information email john.clark@state.de.us.)

The New Jersey public hearing will take place 6:30 p.m. on January 4 at the Galloway Township Branch of the Atlantic County Library at 306 East Jimmie Leeds Road in Galloway, NJ, immediately following next Thursday’s New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting on Thursday, January 4.

The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council is expected to take final action on January 4 on a limited Wave One fishery for black sea bass in February following the recent joint sessions of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAMFC) in December.

States have an opportunity to provide a limited recreational fishery during the 28 days of February, but only if they’re willing to give up some allowable fishing days later in the spring. At the November meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, it was decided that a special meeting of the state’s sea bass advisory committee would convene for review before Christmas to allow anglers and business owners to weigh in publicly on the concept when the council meets again in Galloway on January 4, 2018 at 5 p.m. (meeting time changed from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. as per agenda.)

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