Pallone Requests Immediate Approval of Summer Flounder Regulations
Dear Governor Christie:
I am writing you to ask that the Department of Environmental Protection immediately approve the 2011 Summer Flounder regulations. I represent a vibrant and active coastal community which has fishermen and local businesses that rely on the Summer Flounder fishery. As such, I write to you with the need for urgent action.
On April 7, 2011, the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council voted to enact the 2011 Summer Flounder regulations. The final regulations approved are for the upcoming season of May 7, 2011 to September 25, 2011, a bag limit of 8 fish per person and a minimum size of 18 inches. Furthermore, this set of regulations has been approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. These final regulations were submitted for approval by the Bureau of Marine Fisheries to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on the day following their approval.
It has been the practice of the DEP to approve regulations submitted by the Bureau of Marine Fisheries in short order. May 7th is just over a week away and local anglers and businesses are becoming anxious and remain confused. There are a number of marinas, bait and tackle shops, charter and party boat companies and other supporting businesses that are counting on the opening of the Summer Flounder season. I am deeply concerned over the impact a delay in the approval of these regulations would have on my constituents who take part in the fishery as well as my constituents whose livelihoods depend on the business this fishery supports.
On April 7th I had staff attend the Bureau of Marine Fisheries Commission meeting at which these regulations were approved, as I was in Washington, DC voting and unable to attend. The anglers in attendance were vociferous and highly in favor of keeping the season open as long as possible. I also believe that a longer season will benefit New Jersey anglers and the fishing industry.
I ask that you direct the DEP to approve the final regulations that were submitted by the Bureau of Marine Fisheries immediately. Thank you for your time and consideration of this important issue.
FRANK PALLONE, JR.