(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak, Bruce Land and Vince Mazzeo providing a supplemental appropriation of $1.2 million to the Shellfish and Marine Fisheries Management for the Bureau of Marine Fisheries in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for this coming fiscal year was signed into law Friday by Governor Murphy.
“This will undoubtedly provide a big boost for tourism and for fishermen in South Jersey,” said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “By protecting our coast and our bays and the life they contain, and by ensuring we sustain our abundant shellfish population, we are allowing for fisheries and industries reliant on tourism to thrive for years to come.”
The supplemental $1.2 million provided under the law (formerly bill A-4255) is an increase to the $2.468 million allocated in the Governor’s proposed FY2019 budget, granting the Shellfish and Marine Fisheries Management for the Bureau of Marine Fisheries with a total budget of $3.668 million for this coming fiscal year.
“New Jersey’s commercial fishermen catch more than 100 varieties of shellfish and finfish, amounting to over 100 million pounds of seafood each year valued at over $100 million,” said Land (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland). “This law will allow us to sustain and responsibly maintain the financial viability of the fishing industry, while also keeping New Jersey’s water teeming with life for years to come.”
“This law is good for New Jerseyans, for tourists, and for the beautiful landscape we have the privilege of calling home,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “Our coastline and the tremendous seafood that comes from it have much to do with our $16 billion tourism industry. This law makes a critical investment in our state to protect our fishing and tourism industries.”
The Bureau of Marine Fisheries is responsible for the administration of marine fisheries management program with the objective of protecting, conserving and enhancing marine fisheries’ resources and their habitats.
New Jersey has 6 major commercial fishing ports which this law would primarily affect, although the law would affect other ports as well: Atlantic City, Barnegat Light, Belford, Cape May, Point Pleasant and Port Norris.
The bill was approved by the full Assembly on June 25 by a vote of 71-6-0.