After months of intense lobbying by a variety of recreational fishing organizations, the New Jersey General Assembly passed Assembly Bill No. 3512 which prohibits the taking of menhaden in state waters for the purpose of reduction, including conversion to fish meal, oil and other components. Because menhaden form the basis of the food chain for a variety of important fish stocks that the recreational sector depends on -- bluefish, striped bass, summer flounder and weakfish -- legislators decided to do away with reduction fishing in its waters.
Republican Assemblyman Steve Corodemus sponsored this legislation primarily because New Jersey was one of the few states that allowed commercial reduction vessels to ply its waters for menhaden. In fact, reduction boats removed 45.6 million pounds of menhaden from state waters and a total of 75.8 million pounds off the New Jersey coast in 2000.