New Jersey fishermen protest new fluke fishing regulations

Dozens gathered in Point Pleasant Beach to protest new federal restriction on fluke fishing.

Dozens gathered in Point Pleasant Beach to protest new federal restriction on fluke fishing. (1/27/17)

POINT PLEASANT BEACH - Fishermen in New Jersey came to Point Pleasant Beach Friday to protest against new regulations on floundering.

The federal government recently put limits on fluke fish because regulators believe its population is dwindling. Under the new regulations, the amount of fluke that can be caught in New Jersey will be cut by at least 30 percent, and there has been an increase in the size of fish that are allowed to be caught.

Fishermen say that the new regulations will hurt their businesses. Fisherman Jeff Gutman also owns a party boat business at the shore. He says fluke fishing amounts to about 75 percent of his business.

“They’re going to turn everybody off from going fishing,” he says. “Nobody is going to go home and get to take home a fish.”

New Jersey DEP Commissioner Bob Martin says the federal government’s data on fluke is outdated.

“The data we have now, the stock assessments, is from 2013,” Martin says. “It's old and we want it redone, now."

State officials say that they are urging federal regulators under the Trump administration to ease the restrictions.

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