View Full Version : Rfa-nj Leads Effort To Secure Better Data

01-07-2010, 02:14 PM

In the month leading up to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) meetings in December, the Recreational Fishing Alliance's New Jersey Chapter (RFA-NJ) worked diligently in making a case to convene a joint meeting of the MAFMC's Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) and the Black Sea Bass Monitoring Committee. The MAFMC agreed with the approach, and voted unanimously to reassess the black sea bass 2010 quota recommendations.

"One MAFMC member mentioned to me that testimony delivered by RFA-NJ Chairman Capt. Adam Nowalsky was quite convincing," said Jim Hutchinson, Jr., RFA's Managing Director. "The representative specifically noted that for the most part the council decided to send the black sea bass information back to the SSC because of efforts to make the case to each and every member of that fisheries management council."

Testimony before the council encouraged members to ask the committees to convene in a special session this winter, with the SSC addressing the scientific uncertainty in the black sea bass assessments, and the Monitoring Committee addressing management uncertainties. This meeting will occur via conference call on Friday, January 8, 2010. Pending a revised quota recommendation, action by NMFS' Northeast Administrator would pave the way for Council and Board approval of revised 2010 black sea bass regulations early this year.

"The RFA-NJ chapter was there in Delaware alongside folks from the United Boatmen and the Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund, standing up for recreational fishermen at home in New Jersey," said Nowalsky. "Myself, Karen Wall, Capt. Tony Bogan, the groups and individuals who have always been actively involved in saltwater fisheries were there as usual, and the RFA-NJ chapter was well-represented."

Hutchinson said that having strong chapter representation at these federal and regional meetings means that anglers themselves are well-represented. "You'll always hear a lot of ideas and opinions when it comes to marine fisheries management, but enacting change at the Council level requires knowledge of the law and a good bit of onwater experience to boot."

Until fisheries managers can meet again to review committee findings later this winter, the RFA reminds anglers that the black sea bass fishery remains closed in federal waters, and are not expected to reopen until spring. "The current legal challenge to reopen the black sea bass fishery immediately is our only hope right now to repeal the NOAA fisheries arbitrary shutdown of that fishery," Hutchinson said, adding that the federal government's attorneys in the legal challenge were recently granted a two-week extension in their allotted timeframe for responding to the challenge. Lead counsels for the RFA in the effort do not expect to hear a response now until January 22, 2010.

More information about the RFA Legal Defense Fund and the efforts to reopen the sea bass fishery can be found on the RFA homepage at www.joinrfa.org.

"While RFA continues to fight on the national level to reopen this important winter fishery, through the dedicated efforts of the RFA-NJ chapter and others, the entire Mid-Atlantic region may see improved access to sea bass this coming summer if 2010 measures are addressed by fisheries managers this spring," said Hutchinson.


Recreational and commercial fishermen, support business owners, families, and community leaders will gather at the steps of our Nation's Capitol on February 24, 2010 from noon until 3 p.m. to show Congress a united front of the impacts caused by the unintended impacts of the Magnuson Stevens Conservation and Management Act as revised effective January, 2007 (MSA).

The RFA has been spearheading lobbying efforts to get the Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2009 passed in both the House and Senate (HR1584/S1255), and will be using this opportunity on the steps of the Capitol to rally additional support for this legislation.

The RFA-NJ chapter is working together with Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund (SSFFF), United Boatmen and the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA-NJ) to arrange buses to take fishermen to DC on February 24. Tickets are $32 a person and will be leaving from 'ports' in Atlantic Highlands, Brielle, Wildwood and Bordentown.

To reserve your spot on one of these first buses heading out for the rally, visit

www.ssfff.net. Hurry, these first spots are filling up fast. There's also a bus leaving from Southern Ocean County via Chum Bucket Bait Shop in West Creek, NJ for $30 per person round trip. For reservations, call 609-294-2500.

The United We Fish rally on the steps of the Capitol is being coordinated by many organizations and individuals including but not limited to the Recreational Fishing Alliance, Conservation Cooperative of Gulf Fishermen, United Boatmen, SSFFF, MTA-NJ, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association, the Florida based Fishing Rights Alliance and the New York Sportfishing Federation.

Stay up to date with details by signing up for email updates at


About Recreational Fishing Alliance
The RFA is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. Our mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation's saltwater fisheries. For information, visit www.joinrfa.org.

01-07-2010, 04:07 PM
Sounds like a great job by Capt Adam, Capt Tony and the other RFA representatives. Glad to hear you turned their heads, at least your hard work and "convincing' testimony got them thinking.


01-07-2010, 04:31 PM
Adam, Tony, et al,
Just got the RFA e-mail and was pleased to read that they actually listened to what was said at the meeting in Delaware. You both felt that it was important to attend and stand up for our rights.

At the SSFFF meeting you both were optimistic that good should come from those with knowledge. It appears that this is the case.

Adam at the SSFFF meeting you didn't miss a beat, it sounds like your on a roll, keep it up. Tony you are just a volume of knowledge. Without the 2 of you giving of your time we would be in worse shape. We are making a difference and this must continue.

To all those lurking, to all those posting, we can make a difference. Let's support the leadership Adam and Tony are providing and be in Washington with them on Feb. 24th. It is the one time all can feel we are making a difference for now and the future.

Sign up NOW so that they can see our support!