The Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund (SSFFF) has just completed funding a pilot research project with Rutgers
University. This project was solely funded by SSFFF to lay the groundwork for a large-scale project to be carried out by the
Partnership for Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Science (PMAFS), of which SSFFF is a member, in the upcoming year(s).
at the ratio of male vs. female Summer Flounder in the recreational fishery in New Jersey by area, Rutgers was able to not
only gather valuable scientific data, but has laid the groundwork for the larger coastal study. The goal of this “pilot
project” was to give PMAFS the information needed to assure that data gathered from the larger study can be incorporated
into future Summer Flounder fisheries science.
At the same time, SSFFF has been funding a research project that
investigates Summer Flounder Mortality. This project, funded by SSFFF and a grant obtained by SSFFF through NJ Sea Grant &
iBoat NJ, is being conducted by Dr. Mark Maunder, who worked for SSFFF during last years Summer Flounder Stock Assessment.
The impetus for this research project came as a result of the aforementioned Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW) that
Dr. Maunder attended and participated in on behalf of SSFFF last year.
These projects could not have been undertaken
if not for the dedication and contributions of thousands of anglers and businesses in the recreational fishery. While important,
these projects are but a small step forward in improving the science and management of the Summer Flounder Fishery. As a result
of recent events at the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) and actions taken by the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) it is obvious that serious threats to the Summer Flounder Fishery as well as other fisheries abound.
SSFFF, in concert with United Boatmen and The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), is looking at how the recent closure
of Black Sea Bass implemented by NMFS, and more importantly the mechanisms used to justify the closure and the precedent it
sets, will impact other recreational fisheries including Summer Flounder if left unchallenged.
As we move forward,
SSFFF is committed to staying true to its mission statement which says, “We seek to safeguard and improve fishing access
to summer flounder, for those who enjoy it and to ensure the survival of those who depend on it, through scientific and legislative