Expresses Disappointment in Commission’s Decision to Uphold Cuts to Sea Bass Quotas

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) issued the following statement today in response to the vote taken last night by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) on the Commission’s Draft Addendum XXVII to the Summer Flounder, Scup and Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.  Pallone commended the Commission for heeding his recommendation and adopting Regional Option 2B with regard to summer flounder, but expressed his disappointment that the restrictive quota for sea bass harvest was upheld.  Last month, Pallone sent a letter to ASMFC, which was also read before yesterday’s vote, urging the Commission to support less restrictive policies for both summer flounder and sea bass:

“I applaud the Commission for heeding my recommendation and adopting less restrictive policies for New Jersey fishermen with regard to summer flounder.  The fishing business has long been a way life on the Jersey Shore and it is integral to our state’s economy.  This decision distinguishes New Jersey as its own region and will give fishermen in our state a fair catch limit for this key species.

“However, the Commission’s decision to uphold this 23% cut for sea bass harvest is disappointing.  New Jersey fisherman, and those all along the East Coast, deserve fair quotas based on sound science.  As I have said before, there continues to be a serious lack of confidence in the data guiding these decisions.  Our fishermen, who are drivers of our coastal economy, cannot be punished for gaps in information.  I will continue to fight to ensure that reliable data is available so that fishermen are not burdened with overly restrictive catch limits.”