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The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance Congratulates Governor On charter Boat Re-Openings

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

The New Jersey Outdoor Alliance on Saturday released a statement congratulating the Governor for taking action to re-open New Jersey’s for-hire fishing industry, and renewed calls for action on several measures to assist New Jersey’s for-hire fishing industry in surviving the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on New Jersey’s recreational fishing industry. While unable to sail due to social-distancing regulations, these small businesses see high regular overhead costs for things like insurance, dockage and other fees.

“We congratulate on reopening charter boats and our for-hire fleet for business. Small businesses like these are the lifeblood of our state, and we rely on them for tens of thousands of jobs in New Jersey and the celebration of our outdoor heritage.” said NJOA Vice President Cody McLaughlin, “While some damage has been done on the wait, taking action now will help more boats survive and, in a time when we’re reaching Depression-levels of unemployment, every job is essential and these boats sustain the bulk of nearly 17,000 jobs in our state.”

The Outdoor Alliance, the state’s largest advocacy organization for fisherman, hunters and trappers signed onto a letter with organizations to several regulatory councils requesting them to change fishing seasons and regulations to provide an opportunity for the for-hire fleet to recoup their losses due to COVID-19.

Among the requested regulatory and season changes:

  • Adjusting fishing regulations and seasons in favor of longer seasons in the fall to allow opportunity to recoup key spring charter income.
  • Adjusted bag limits to entice more anglers to participate
  • Adjusting bag limits to provide party and charter boat captains (and the related industries that depend on them) the opportunity to recoup some of their losses on summer flounder and black sea bass when the state is re-opened.
  • Consideration extending seasons on species that closures have had an effect on already, such as Tautog (April 1-May 31), that was essentially lost because of Social Distancing.

The joint Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting scheduled for June 16 to June 18 in Virginia Beach can provide a perfect opportunity to place this loss of business caused by COVID-19 on the meeting’s agenda for discussion and resolution. This issue needs quick attention so changes can be made in time to help make the recreational fishing industry recoup some of its losses before the 2020 fishing season ends.

About the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance: New Jersey Outdoor Alliance’s mission is “preservation through conservation.” NJOA serves as a grassroots coalition of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen dedicated to the conservation of natural resources and environmental stewardship that champions the intrinsic value of fishing, hunting and trapping, among opinion leaders, policy makers, and the public at-large. To learn more about the organization, please visit:

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