Senate, No. 3156 state of new jersey 216th legislature



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SENATE, No. 3156

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 24, 2015







Sponsored by:

Senator JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

SYNOPSIS

Directs DEP to establish three-year pilot program to permit for-hire vessels to fish for summer flounder in Delaware waters pursuant to Delaware regulations.


CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

As introduced.





An Act concerning summer flounder fishing in the Delaware Bay.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. The Department of Environmental Protection, in consultation with the Marine Fisheries Council, shall develop a pilot program to permit for-hire vessels, licensed in both Delaware and New Jersey and departing from ports in Cape May County, to fish for summer flounder in Delaware waters pursuant to Delaware’s recreational summer flounder size and bag limits. Under the program, once a participating vessel catches and keeps a summer flounder in Delaware waters, the vessel shall not be permitted to also catch and keep summer flounder in New Jersey waters until the vessel has landed at a port in Cape May County and reported all summer flounder caught, as required by the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to subsection b. of this section.

b. The department shall, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt rules and regulations establishing: (1) the qualifications and application procedures for participants in the pilot program; (2) reporting requirements to account for all summer flounder caught and kept by participating vessels in Delaware waters; (3) implementation and enforcement measures, including monitoring of participating vessels, to ensure that all program requirements are met; (4) penalties for non-compliance with program requirements; and (5) fees for participation in the program. The rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this subsection shall be consistent with the objectives of the summer flounder management plan approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. A person violating this act shall be subject to the penalties set forth in section 73 of P.L.1979, c.199 (C. 23:2B-14) and any other applicable laws.

c. The department shall take appropriate steps to obtain approval for the pilot program from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The department shall discontinue the pilot program if the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission determines that the program puts New Jersey in noncompliance with the summer flounder management plan.

d. Prior to the discontinuance or expiration of the pilot program, the department shall prepare and issue a report to the Governor and the Legislature containing an evaluation of the pilot program. The report shall also provide the commission's opinion as to whether the pilot program should be continued and, if so, recommendations for further improvement and implementation.


2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire three years after the date of enactment.
STATEMENT
This bill would direct the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to establish a three-year pilot program permitting for-hire vessels, licensed in Delaware and New Jersey and departing from ports in Cape May County, to fish for summer flounder in Delaware waters pursuant to Delaware’s recreational summer flounder size and bag limits. Under the program, once a participating vessel catches and keeps a summer flounder in Delaware waters, it would not be permitted to also catch and keep summer flounder in New Jersey waters until it has landed at a port in Cape May County and reported all summer flounder caught.

Under the bill, the DEP would be required to adopt regulations concerning the qualifications and applications procedures for pilot program participants, reporting requirements to account for all summer flounder caught and kept in Delaware waters, implementation and enforcement measures to ensure that all program requirements are met, penalties for non-compliance by program participants, and fees. The bill would require the regulations to be consistent with the objectives of the summer flounder management plan approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).



The bill would direct the DEP to take appropriate steps to obtain the approval of the ASMFC for the pilot program. The DEP would discontinue the plan if the ASMFC determines that the program violates the summer flounder management plan. Finally, the bill would require the DEP to prepare and issue a report to the Governor and the Legislature containing an evaluation of the pilot program and the commission's opinion as to whether the pilot program should be continued.


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