Plan to restrict fluke fishing in New Jersey causes concern

Fishermen at the Jersey Shore say they are concerned about a proposed plan to restrict how many fish they are allowed to catch.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says that there has been an over-fishing of fluke, so they want to cut back on the number that can be caught in order to help restock the population. The proposal would allow fisherman to keep two fish, down from the current limit of five.

Fish would also have to be at least 19 inches long, instead of 18 inches.

Recreational fisherman Jesse Thomas says that it won't be worth going out fishing in the summer of the restrictions are put into place.

"It's getting to the point it's not worth me keeping my boat in the slip," he says. "What it costs me for insurance, the slip fees, for fuel."

Owners of fisherman-related businesses say they will also suffer from the restrictions. Bob Matthews the bait and tackle shop Fisherman's Den says that party boats won't be able to sell tickets if restrictions are too tight. He says that his shop would also sell fewer fishing rods, reels and other fishing gear.

"You're going to go on less trips if you're not bringing anything home," Matthews says.

Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez sent the federal government a letter Monday asking them to rethink the restrictions. Their letter states that summer flounder fishing accounts for 40 percent of all fishing in that season.

Some fishermen groups say that they also plan to ask the Trump administration to reconsider the plan.

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