navigation bar
  New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife
njdep home f&w home

Recreational Black Sea Bass and Commercial Winter Flounder Harvest Regulation Changes

May 3, 2013

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is informing recreational anglers and commercial fishermen about recently approved season and possession limit changes for recreational black sea bass, and possession and other restrictions for the commercial winter flounder harvest in federal waters.

The Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, with the approval of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (Council) at its May 2, 2013 meeting, has modified the recreational season and possession limit for black sea bass. In February 2013, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board (Board) met to discuss recreational management measures for the black sea bass fishery.

Initially, the Board approved ad hoc regional management requiring New Jersey, as part of the Northern Region from New Jersey to Massachusetts, to implement regulations that would reduce the recreational harvest of black sea bass by 32 percent. Based on new biological information, on April 17, 2013, the Board agreed to an adjusted reduction of 24 percent for the Northern Region resulting in a New Jersey recreational harvest limit of 364,834 fish. For the remainder of 2013, the Council approved an open season of May 19 - August 8, September 27 - October 14, and November 1 - December 31. In addition, the Council approved decreasing the possession limit from 25 fish to 20 fish. The minimum size limit will remain at 12.5 inches.

The Council also modified regulatory wording to clarify that the possession and other restrictions for the commercial harvest of winter flounder regulations are only applicable to winter flounder taken in New Jersey waters and not to winter flounder taken from the Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ), which consists of Federal waters from 3 - 200 nautical miles offshore. These actions have been taken to allow New Jersey commercial fishermen to comply with recent changes to the Northeast Multispecies Fisheries Management Plan (NMFMP) which was approved by the New England Fishery Management Council and adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on April 30, 2013.

This includes modifications to the Southern New England/Mid-Atlantic stock of winter flounder rebuilding program as well as revisions to management measures for the stock consistent with the rebuilding strategy. Under the former rebuilding program, no retention of winter flounder was allowed for Federally permitted commercial vessels within the EEZ. Although the commercial harvest of winter flounder in State waters will remain at the limits established by the ASMFC's Winter Flounder Fisheries Management Plan, commercial vessels possessing the appropriate Federal Northeast Multispecies Permit will be allowed to harvest winter flounder from the EEZ, subject to the quota and trip limits established by NMFS.

A discussion of potential State water regulatory actions will take place later this month during the ASMFC Spring Meeting.

For additional information or questions please call the Marine Fisheries Administration at 609-748-2020.

  Adobe Acrobat Some files on this site require adobe acrobat pdf reader to view. download the free pdf reader  
bottom footer contact dep privacy notice legal statement accessibility statement nj home nj home citizen business government services a to z departments dep home

division of fish & wildlife: home | links | contact f&w
department: njdep home | about dep | index by topic | programs/units | dep online
statewide: njhome | citizen | business | government | services A to Z | departments | search

Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2013
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: May 3, 2013