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March 26, 2002


For more information contact:
Bruce Halgren at 609-748-2020

The Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife and the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council have developed a regulatory proposal regarding several marine species that will be published in the April 1, 2002 New Jersey Register. A public hearing to take comments on the proposed amendments has also been scheduled for 8 p.m. on April 17 at Richard Stockton College, A-wing Lecture Hall, Jimmie Leeds Road in Pomona, Atlantic County.

"Many of the provisions are necessary to bring New Jersey into compliance or compatibility with coastwide management plans of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) or the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "Other proposals were developed at the request of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council or by the participants in the fisheries involved, while still others were made to correct, clarify or simplify existing regulations."

The proposed rule amendments concern recreational fisheries for river herring and striped bass, and commercial fisheries for blue crabs, American lobster, tautog, shark, black sea bass and weakfish. There are also proposals regarding commercial fishermen using gill nets or fish pots.

Highlights of the proposed amendments follow:

Written comments regarding the proposed amendments must be submitted by May 1, 2002 to:
Karen Hershey
DEP Docket No. 36-00-12/147
DEP, Office of Legal Affairs
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402
Individuals may obtain copies of filed documents from the Office of Administrative Law, 9 Quakerbridge Plaza, P.O. Box 049, Trenton, NJ 08626-0049. The Office of Administrative Law can be contacted at (609) 588-6613 to determine copying fees. Be sure to specify proposed amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.1, 14.2, 14.7, 14.12, 14.13, 14.14, 14.16, 14.19, 18.1, 18.5, 18.12, 18.13 and 18.14. Copies of the proposal will also be available at the public hearing.