“Specifically, National Standard 1 calls for achieving an optimum yield and has itself required that improvements be made to this flawed data collection program which by law was required to have been done two full seasons ago,” Nowalsky said. “The process of specifications setting is broken, even more so when the ‘fatally flawed’ MRFSS data continues to be the basis for these deductions,” Nowalsky told the Asbury Park Press last week.
RFA said New Jersey failed to make any impact on the sea bass discussion since Nowalsky’s vote at the Commission level was nullified by an opposing view at the Board side. “At one of the two most important meetings of the year affecting recreational anglers, our Governor’s appointee to the Commission in New Jersey wasn’t there to break the tie vote between the two deadlocked entities,” Donofrio said. “Every state gets three votes to avoid this type of stalemate, I think our New Jersey representatives should’ve arranged in advance to have a proxy in Virginia Beach to answer as Governor’s appointee for just such a situation,” Donofrio said.
Earlier this week, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) sent an official letter to Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to intervene on behalf of the recreational fishing public and associated businesses for better quotas. “Regulations proposed by NOAA and NMFS fail to consider this is a fully rebuilt stock that isn’t being overfished and that these restrictions will have severe consequences for the fishing community,” Pallone said.
Congressman Pallone, a long-time supporter of fishermen’s rights and a ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee said “Both science and the fishing industry have been ignored and I would like to see changes to the final regulations.”
RFA and fellow plaintiffs have filed a federal lawsuit based on the black sea bass measures going back to the 2009/2010 closure, and have named NOAA Fisheries and the Commerce Secretary as defendants in the case. Visit the RFA homepage at www.joinrfa.orgto learn more.
Read Rep. Pallone’s full letter to the Secretary of Commerce at: