Blue Crab molting

TRENTON, NJ – The Department of Environmental Protection issued the following notice of a rule proposals for Crab and Lobster Management rules, Marine Fisheries rules, and Fishery Management in New Jersey :

Natural and Historic Resources
Division of Fish and Wildlife
Marine Fisheries Administration

Notice of Rule Proposal

Crab and Lobster Management, N.J.A.C. 7:25-14

Marine Fisheries, N.J.A.C. 7:25-18

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Fishery Management in New Jersey, N.J.A.C. 7:25-22

Public Notice

Take notice that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection is proposing new rules and amendments to the Crab and Lobster Management rules, Marine Fisheries rules, and Fishery Management in New Jersey rules.

A statement of the substance of the proposal follows:

The Department is proposing to reduce the number of commercial crab pot/trot line licenses and crab dredge licenses, for both the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Coast due to a reduction in the number of actively harvesting license holders and allow licensees to transfer those licenses to any person, based upon the number of available licenses.

In addition, the Department is proposing amendments at N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.19 and 18.1, 18.5, and 18.12 to allow the Commissioner of the Department (Commissioner), with the approval of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (Council), to modify certain fishery management measures by notice to remain in compliance with the mandated fishery management plans, as approved by the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), the New England Fishery Management Council, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, or the National Marine Fisheries Service.

Furthermore, the Department is proposing amendments to the provisions applicable to the recreational harvest of striped bass at N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.1(h) to require the use of non-offset circle hooks in all New Jersey waters while recreationally fishing for striped bass with bait to maintain compliance with the Striped Bass Interstate Fishery Management Plan.

Lastly, the Department is proposing amendments and new rules at N.J.A.C. 7:25-22 to establish new management measures for the commercial Atlantic menhaden fishery.

The proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey Register dated March 1, 2021.  A copy of the proposal is available from: and LexisNexis free public access to the New Jersey Register at

Written comments may be submitted electronically by April 30, 2021 at, or in hard copy to:


Ryan H. Knapick, Esq.

ATTN: DEP Docket No. 1-21-1

NJ Department of Environmental Protection

Office of Legal Affairs

Mail Code 401-04L; PO Box 402

401 East State Street, 7th Floor

Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

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