FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2017
Long Branch, NJ – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) applauded the decision by U.S Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to affirm the State of New Jersey’s summer flounder regulations. The State argues that this change will better preserve the stock by reducing the discard mortality as well as reach conservation equivalency with federal regulations.
Pallone supported the State’s proposal, which was developed to alleviate the damage of drastic summer flounder quota cuts that were announced by NOAA earlier this year. On June 23, Pallone sent a letter to Secretary Ross supporting the State’s position.
“The Commerce Secretary and NOAA made the right decision by affirming New Jersey’s innovative summer flounder management plan.” said Pallone. “I am pleased the State was able to devise a plan that addresses the economic needs of fishermen and their families, coastal communities, and promote conservation of an important species. Much works still needs to be done to reform how we manage our recreational and commercial fisheries, and I pledge to continue to work to protect and support our coastal communities.”
Congressman Pallone has been a longtime supporter of fisheries and their positive economic impact on coastal communities. Earlier this year, Pallone and a bipartisan group from the New Jersey Congressional delegation sent a letter to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) vote to approve devastating restrictions on New Jersey’s fishing community. The Congressmen asked Ross to delay any reductions or changes in summer flounder fishing quotas until a new stock assessment can be completed and a new approach can be crafted.
He appeared before the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council to reiterate his opposition to NOAA’s quota reductions because of the harm they would cause New Jersey coastal communities. Pallone and Senator Booker sent a letter to NOAA Fisheries about its proposal to reduce the ABC recreational and commercial quotas for summer flounder in 2017 and 2018. The New Jersey lawmakers requested that NOAA Fisheries postpone any decision on reducing summer flounder quotas until it conducts a new benchmark summer flounder assessment.