Friday, February 12, 2010

ASMFC Finds New Jersey Shark Regs Out of Compliance

Last week at its Winter Meeting, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission found the State of New Jersey out of compliance with the mandatory management measures contained in the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Coastal Sharks. The Commission has notified the Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior of its finding.  This action was taken pursuant to the provisions of the Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act of 1993.

The State of New Jersey has not implemented the regulations of the Interstate FMP for Atlantic Coastal Sharks. The implementation of these regulations is necessary to rebuild depleted shark stocks, ensure sustainable harvest of others, and provide protection for sharks in state nursing and pupping grounds.  The Technical Committee has identified Delaware Bay as one of the most important nursing grounds for depleted sandbar sharks on the Atlantic Coast. Included in the 22 commercial and recreational regulations in the FMP is a seasonal closure from Virginia north through New Jersey to protect pupping sandbar sharks.

In order to come back into compliance the State of New Jersey must implement all measures contained in the FMP.  Upon notification by the Commission, the Secretary of Commerce has 30 days to review the recommendation and determine appropriate action, which may include a federal moratorium on fishing for all 40 species of coastal sharks managed under the FMP in New Jersey’s state waters.  For more information, please contact Robert Beal, Director, Interstate Fisheries Management Program, at (202) 289-6400.

source: ASMFC press release

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