On a vote of 24-8, the New Jersey Senate passesd the Menhaden Bill (aka Bunker Bill) yesterday. Earlier this year, the NJ Assembly also passed it's version of the law. The commercial fishing opposition pulled out all the stops on this one.
As you may recall, this legilsation will prohibit the operation of the bunker reduction boats within New Jersey waters. NJ bait boats (who take only a small portion of menhaden) will be allowed to operate.
Now, its off to the Governor's Office (lame duck). He has stated he supports the legislation, but there is always the chance of a veto.
The RFA, JCAA, Salty Dogs (grass roots fishing organization) and various NJ & PA fishing clubs across the state deserve alot of credit for their hard work and putting a hurting on thier faxes and computers. NJ Senators received ALOT of faxes in support of this legislation.
This all started when the Salty Dogs (ad hoc group of guys fed up with bunker reduction) started march on Trenton in the cold rain to let our legislators know we were fed up with the raping of our seas. That rally had a big impact on our legislators. For many years we have been trying to get the bill passed to stop the raping of menhaden off the Jersey coast. Hopefully, this will be a reality if the governor signs the bill.
With the passage of the elver bill that prohibited netting of baby eels we are seeing more stripers in the bay, creeks, and rivers. With passage of the bunker bill, more bluefish and stripers will make the coast thier home. If you think fishing was really good this year, wait to next year if the bill is signed.
Thanks to all who worked ard to get this bill passed. Now, time to go fishing
I agree the Salty Dogs did a great Job.
We need to tank them for their work.
Also TimS for openly letting his web site www.stripersonline.com support the cause, as well as his personal efforts.
Congrat guys on gettint the bunker bill passed. Would like to see a similar one passed here in VA but that is going to take a lot of really hard work. I have been saying for years that if the bunker fishing was restricted we would have a lot better fishing and cleaner water.
As of right now, Acting Governor DiFrancesco has not signed the bill into law (the Governor's Office legal staff is studying the bill - WHAT'S TO STUDY?? It's been studied to death by both Senate and Assembly staffs. Sign It!!!). The Acting Governor has stated in the past he is in support of the bill.
This fall no sign of bunker near the beaches. Absolutely no sign of peanut bunker in S. Jersey (weather related??).
Fishman - dont you mean you hope that the Menhaden Boat will NOT come to Va.? If they do, you WILL be in serious trouble.
It's offically law!!! No Bunker reduction boats allowed in State waters (0-3 miles). time to celerbate and wait for the return of stripe bass surf fishing for New Jersey. time to celebrate and congradulate the hard work.
Hey lets not celebrate just yet cause its not over!!! As you know this bunker stuff is big money... there is alot of pocket lining going on here for decades.... I would not open up the victory beers just yet!!!
It all started when a bunch of our fisherman brothers "with some balls" finally got fed up and started a march in the rain that began a spark of momentum... then with the miracle of the internet alot more fisherman were informed and out went the faxes and phone calls..... OK thats good.. weve gotten this far... but now what? I'll tell you what...
1. Please some one post the fax number (AND EMAIL ADDRESS) of the govenors office.. Lets bombard them again one more time its important!!!!! One last time before they change their minds.. before somebody with commercial fishing big money and power starts talking "some sence" into these boys upstairs.... We got to let them know that "we sports fisherman are a big money factor too!" we are votes! We are bucks! We are voices! We can cause noise.. problems.. we are no longe gonna sit around and watch some fat pigs get fatter and richer at the expence of our countries natural resourse getting raped. Our kids are entitled to it too... thay have a share of this too!!!
2. Ok then we got to "thank those people and politicians who helped us"... to many times people put in so much time and effort and then are forgotten... lets not make that mistake. Lets let the people know who worked on getting this bill passed that "we know who they are and appreciate them...
come on now ... move!!! its not over till the fat lady sings.
Ah, John, thanks for responding and I share your passion. As the driver of the lead beach buggy w/ the loud speaker following the walkers, the Bunker March in trenton was a great success in gaining the attention of NJ Legislators. It unfortunate testimony that special interest groups DO have the ears of legislators and money talks!!!
However, the Menhaden Bill was signed by the Acting Governor and is indeed law of New Jersey. The Bunker reduction boats are prohibited from NJ state waters (0-3 miles). Please do not confuse NJ bait boats and gillnetters. That's a different story and the gillnetters just might get some future attention if you know what I'm saying.
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