NJ Shuts Down River Herring Fishery
DEP Lacks Funds to Collect Data – Blame Â Craven Fisherman Politics
Proponents of a saltwater fishing fee over the past several years had argued it was needed as a way to raise money for just such research, but the state decided instead to create a saltwater fishing registry with no fee. (AC Press 1/28/12)
Kirk Moore of the Asbury Park Press wrote a story back on April 1 that warned that the river herring fishery would be closed in 2012:
UPPER FREEHOLD â€” Beset by a crushing workload, decimated staff and years of inadequate funding, the state Bureau of Marine Fisheries is preparing a draft plan to identifyÂ what can be jettisoned from a program that serves a $2 billion industry in New Jersey â€¦ yet gets less than 1 percent of that from the state budget.
Already thereâ€™s a plan to suspend fishing for river herring in 2012 because state biologists wonâ€™t be able to fulfill legal requirements under the coastwide herring management plan, said marine bureau chief Brandon Muffley. Itâ€™s just one of 22 plans for various species that must be kept updated under interstate and federal rules.
â€œBy default, if you canâ€™t prove your fishery is sustainable, youâ€™re out of compliance,â€ Muffley said. River herring are the first to be set aside because biologists â€œneed to do one for each individual river system,â€ he said. â€¦
That story prompted this screed here:Â Ocean Ecosystems, Fishermen, and Shore Economy Harmed by Craven Politics –
Kirk MooreÂ has a superb and what should beÂ explosive story in todayâ€™sÂ Asbury Park Press: Fisheries caught in budgetâ€™s tight net â€“ Herring catch on hold, others may follow.
Mooreâ€™s storyÂ tells the sad tale of how the shortsightedÂ ideology and craven politics ofÂ Governor Christie â€“ catering to theÂ irrresponsible selfish greed of someÂ in NJâ€™s recreational fishing lobby -Â are harming the science andÂ management of coastal ecosystems andÂ fisheries.
The fisheries storyÂ is just the latestÂ example of backtracking on ocean ecosystems. [ ...]
So, fishermen should ask Jimmy D. over at RFA why they are not allowed to catch more fish.
Itâ€™s because NJ lacks the data to support management decisions.
Next time fishermenÂ complain about restrictive quotas, or catch sizes, or bag limits, they shouldnâ€™tÂ criticize the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) or the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council (ASMFC) or the DEP.
Just call Jimmy D at RFA.
You would think that warning would have resulted in some reasonable moderation of the selfish and shortsighted fishing group lobbyists – like RFA – and their craven legislative supporters to reach a compromise on the salt water registry funding issue.
Anti-government, anti-science, anti-regulatory, and anti-tax Ideology and selfish special interest group politics prevailed.
The folks who would like to starve the beast and make government small enough to drown in the bathtub won.
As a result, as predicted, in a huge embarrassment to the Christie Administration,Â NJ shut down the river herring fishery.
The Press of Atlantic City reports:
New Jersey bans the catch and sale of river herring after failing to provide adequate data