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July 10, 2008

NJ officials back 'pots off the reefs' legislation

Similar legislation was blocked from coming to a vote last year...

New Jersey reef fishermen were delighted to receive endorsements for the effort to eliminate fish and lobster pots from the artificial reefs built with recreational funds for hook and line fishing. Legislation (S-336) introduced by Senator Sean Kean (R-Monmouth County) was endorsed by Division of Fish and Game Director Dave Chanda. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa Jackson indicated she would also comply with the legislation's request that she apply to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council for similar protection on the 13 reefs that lie in federal waters. Similar legislation was blocked from coming to a vote last year by Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts (D-Camden). The commercial Garden State Seafood Association held a big fundraiser for Roberts, who represents a non-competitive district), earlier this year.