The e-mail address in yesterday’s blog for comments on bluefish not submitted at last month’s bluefish scoping hearings was incorrect. It should be email@example.com. Your bluefish comments can be submitted prior to midnight.
I emphasized the fact that the Mid-Atlantic Council and ASMFC have to take part of the responsibility for he bluefish decline by allowing unused recreational quota to be transferred to commercial fisheries even as the shortage was developing. There was no provision in the management plan for such transfers, and it’s vital that such actions must be specifically prohibited by amendment to the plan.
Comments on fluke will also be accepted before midnight by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. My response emphasized the fact that NOAA Fisheries estimated the recreational summer flounder catch in 1970 (before management started) was 39 million pounds — nearly seven times the commercial landings. Yet, the management plan provided 60% of the quota to commercial interests in one of the worst abuses of the public trust since fisheries management started. The result has been ever-larger minimum sizes, short seasons and small bag limits for the public while dozens of party and charter boats have gone out of business.
The ASMFC has cancelled its spring meeting from May 4-7 in Arlington, Va. due to the pandemic. One day may be added to the summer meeting in August, and issues demanding quick action can be handled through webinars or by conference calls.
One more day of fishable weather is coming up as the forecast for Wednesday is for north winds at 5-10 knots before going to southeast in the afternoon — and blowing up to 15-20 after midnight along with rain.
The Ocean Explorer is planning to sail from Belmar for cod on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m.
Betty & Nicks Tackle in Seaside Park notes that the restaurant remains open though no one will be seated or waitress service provided. Orders will be delivered to your car.