N.J. Admin. Code § 7:25-18.14 - Otter and beam trawls

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 7, April 4, 2022

(a) Vessels greater than 165 feet in length and in excess of 3,000 horsepower shall not fish in the marine waters of this State with an otter or beam trawl nor may any such vessel have an otter or beat trawl available for immediate use while on the marine waters of this State as defined in (b) below.
1. All trawl net doors possessed on the waters of the State of New Jersey must contain the official documentation number or the state registration number of the vessel to whom they belong indelibly branded or stamped in block letters no less than two inches in height on the surface of each door.
i. Trawl doors shall be used only by the vessel which corresponds to the branded or stamped numbers. A vessel may utilize another vessel's trawl doors provided the vessel owner utilizing such doors contacts the Division's Bureau of Law Enforcement at 609-748-2050 in advance and provides the following information: name of owner and vessel borrowing doors, name of owner, vessel and branded or stamped number of borrowed doors. The vessel owner borrowing the trawl doors shall also be responsible for contacting the Bureau of Law Enforcement in advance to indicate when he will begin utilizing his own trawl doors.
(b) No vessel may have available for immediate use any otter or beam trawl while on the marine waters of this State during the hours between sunset and sunrise except on the Atlantic Ocean, at a distance of greater than two miles from the coast line. An otter or beam trawl that conforms to one of the following is considered not "available for immediate use":
1. A net stowed below deck, provided:
i. It is located below the main working deck from which the net is deployed and retrieved;
ii. The towing wires, including the "leg" wires are detached from the net; and
iii. It is fan-folded (flaked) and bound around its circumference;
2. A net stowed and lashed down on deck, provided;
i. It is securely fastened to the deck of the vessel;
ii. The towing wires, including the leg wires are detached from the net; and
iii. It is fan-folded (flaked) and bound around its circumference; or
3. A net is on a reel and is covered and secured; provided:
i. The entire surface of the net is covered with canvas or other similar material and held in place by line bound securely around the entire net in such a manner so that no section of the net is exposed;
ii. The towing wires or towing lines located between the net and the trawl doors shall be completely detached from the trawl doors; and
iii. The cod end closure rope shall be removed from the cod end.
(c) To determine compliance with any established minimum mesh requirement for an otter or beam trawl, the following procedures shall be employed. Stretched mesh sizes are measured by a wedge-shaped gauge having a taper of two centimeters in eight centimeters and a thickness of two and three-tenths millimeters, inserted into the meshes under pressure or pull of five kilograms. The mesh size of the cod end of the net will be the average measurement of any series of 20 consecutive meshes measured at least 10 meshes from the lacings, beginning at the after end and running parallel to the long axis.
(d) No person shall use any device or method which would have the effect of reducing an established minimum mesh size; provided, however, that chafing gear which does not obstruct the meshes of the top half of the cod end may be attached and net strengtheners may be attached to the cod end of the trawl net if such net strengtheners consist of mesh material similar to the material of the cod end and have a mesh size of at least twice the authorized minimum mesh size.
(e) A vessel or person utilizing a roller rig trawl gear shall not utilize rollers greater than 18 inches in diameter.
(f) The operator of, or any other person aboard, any fishing vessel shall immediately comply with instructions and signals issued by an authorized law enforcement officer and comply with instructions to facilitate safe boarding and inspection of the vessel, its gear, equipment, and catch, for the purpose of enforcement of this section.
(g) Any vessel in the act of fishing, upon being boarded and instructed by an authorized law enforcement officer, shall haul back, or retrieve from the waters for inspection, all gear being utilized. After being so instructed, the operator of the vessel, or any other person so instructed, shall have a 30 minute time period to commence haul back and shall continue haul back or retrieval at an ordinary rate and without interruption until the gear is on board and available for inspection.
(h) Possession of an otter trawl and doors shall subject said vessel to inspection for compliance with this section by authorized enforcement personnel. Any nets or doors possessed or used in violation of this section shall be subject to forfeiture under authority of N.J.S.A. 23:10-21.
(i) Violation of any section of this subchapter, or any license or order issued pursuant to it, shall subject the violator to the penalties prescribed in N.J.S.A. 23:2B-14, Penalties consist of $ 100.00 to $ 3,000 for the first offense and $ 200.00 to $ 5,000 for any subsequent offense.
(j) For the purpose of this section, "land" shall mean to begin offloading fish, to offload fish or to enter port with fish.
(k) The Commissioner, with the approval of the New Jersey Fisheries Council, may modify quotas, mesh sizes, minimum size limits, seasons, trip limits, by-catch allocations and the amount of fish that shall constitute a directed fishery specified in this section by notice in order to maintain compliance with any fishery management plan approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 5104(b) or to maintain consistency with any Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council plan adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Commissioner, with the approval of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, may modify mesh sizes, minimum size limits, seasons, trip limits, by-catch allocations and the amount of fish that shall constitute a directed fishery specified in this section by notice in order to provide for the optimal utilization of any quotas specified in this section. The Commissioner will review the catch rate for a particular species in relation to the season quota and if harvest data indicate that upward adjustments in harvest control measures are warranted to maximize utilization of the available quota within a specific season for a specific fishery, the Commissioner may adjust the above specified control measures to achieve optimal utilization of the total allowable catch. The Department shall publish notice of such modification by filing and publishing in the New Jersey Register and in the Division's commercial regulation publication. All such notices shall be effective when the Department files the notice with the Office of Administrative Law or as specified otherwise in the notice.
(l) Special provisions applicable to the commercial harvest of summer flounder are as follows:
1. The possession of more than 100 pounds of summer flounder during the period of May 1 through October 31 or the possession of more than 200 pounds of summer flounder during the period of November 1 through April 30 on board a vessel or landed from a vessel shall constitute a directed fishery for summer flounder.
2. A person utilizing an otter or beam trawl in the directed fishery for summer flounder shall not use a net of less than 5.5 inches stretched diamond mesh or 6.0 inches minimum stretched square mesh, inside measurement. The mesh size shall be applied throughout the body, extensions and cod end portions of the net upon adoption in the Federal Register of essentially the same criteria. Until such time, the mesh size shall be applied throughout the cod end for at least 75 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net. The possession of any net less than the minimum specified above in this paragraph, on board a vessel engaged in a directed fishery for summer flounder is prohibited unless such net is not available for immediate use as defined in (b) above or is one of the following:
i. Vessels fishing in the fly net fishery are exempt from the minimum mesh size requirement. A fly net is a two seam otter trawl with the following configuration:
(1) The net has large mesh webbing in the wings with a stretch mesh measure of eight inches to 64 inches;
(2) The first body (belly) section of the net consists of 35 meshes or more of eight inch stretch mesh webbing or larger; and
(3) In the body section of the net the stretch mesh decreases in size relative to the wings and continues to decrease throughout the extensions to the cod end, which generally has a webbing of two inch stretch mesh.
(m) Special provisions applicable to commercial weakfish and Atlantic croaker fisheries are as follows:
1. The possession of any weakfish or more than 100 pounds of Atlantic croaker on board a vessel or landed from a vessel shall constitute a directed fishery for weakfish or Atlantic croaker.
2. A person shall not possess any weakfish less than 13 inches in length that have been harvested by otter or beam trawl during the period from September 1 through December 31. During the period of January 1 through August 31, the minimum size limit for weakfish harvested by otter or beam trawl is 13 inches in length pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.12(a).
3. A person utilizing a beam or otter trawl in a directed fishery for weakfish or Atlantic croaker shall not use a net of less than 3.75 inches stretched diamond mesh or 3.375 inches stretched square mesh, inside measurement, applied throughout the cod end for at least 75 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net. The possession of any net less than the minimum mesh specified above in this paragraph on board any vessel in a directed fishery for weakfish or Atlantic croaker is prohibited.
4. A person shall not land more than 100 pounds of weakfish harvested by otter trawl except during the open seasons of January 1 through July 31 and October 13 through December 31. No dealer shall accept more than 100 pounds of weakfish landed in New Jersey taken by otter trawl except during such open seasons.
(n) Special provisions applicable to a directed winter flounder fishery are as follows:
1. The possession of more than 100 pounds of winter flounder on board a vessel or landed from a vessel shall constitute a directed fishery for winter flounder.
2. A person utilizing an otter or beam trawl in a directed fishery for winter flounder shall not use a net of less than 6.5 inches stretched mesh inside measurement applied throughout the cod end for at least 75 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net.
3. Except during the open season specified at N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.12(j)1, a vessel with any winter flounder on board shall not have any otter or beam trawl available for immediate use while on the marine waters of this State. An otter or beam trawl that conforms to the provisions at (b)1 through 3 above is considered not "available for immediate use."
(o) Special provisions concerning the harvest of bluefish are as follows:
1. The annual bluefish allocation to the otter trawl fishery shall be 14.7 percent of New Jersey's annual commercial bluefish quota as allocated by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
2. A person shall not land any bluefish by otter trawl except during the open season of January 1 through December 7.
(p) Special provisions applicable to a directed scup fishery are as follows:
1. The possession of more than 500 pounds of scup during the period of October 1 through April 30 and more than 200 pounds of scup during the period of May 1 through September 30 on board a vessel or landed from a vessel shall constitute a directed fishery for scup.
2. A person utilizing an otter or beam trawl in a directed fishery for scup shall not use a net of less than 5.0 inches stretched mesh inside measurement applied for a minimum of 75 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net.
i. Nets not large enough to accommodate the number of minimum meshes listed in (p)2 above shall not contain any meshes less than 5.0 inches stretched mesh inside measurement throughout the entire net.
3. The possession of any net with a mesh less than the minimum specified in (p)2 above on board a vessel in a directed fishery for scup is prohibited unless it is not available for immediate use as defined in (b) above.
(q) Special provisions applicable to a directed black sea bass fishery are as follows:
1. The possession of more than 500 pounds of black sea bass during the period of January 1 through March 31 or more than 100 pounds of black sea bass during the period of April 1 through December 31 on board a vessel or landed from a vessel shall constitute a directed fishery for black sea bass for the purpose of requiring minimum mesh sizes as defined in (q)2 below.
2. A person utilizing an otter or beam trawl in a directed fishery for black sea bass shall not use a net of less than 4.5 inches stretched diamond mesh or 4.0 inches minimum stretched square mesh, inside measurement applied throughout the cod end for at least 75 continuous meshes forward of the terminus of the net. The possession of any net less than the minimum specified in this paragraph on board a vessel in a directed fishery for black sea bass is prohibited unless it is not available for immediate use as defined in (b) above.
i. Nets not large enough to accommodate the number of minimum meshes listed in (q)2 above shall not contain any meshes less than 4.5 inches stretched diamond mesh or 4.0 inches stretched square mesh inside measurement throughout the entire net.
(r) Special provisions concerning the harvest and possession of American eel are as follows:
1. American eel may be taken by otter trawl except any American eel taken by otter trawl from September 1 through December 31 shall not be retained and must be immediately returned to the water.

Notes

N.J. Admin. Code § 7:25-18.14
New Rule, R.1993 d.56, effective 1/19/1993.
See: 24 N.J.R. 4249(a), 25 N.J.R. 303(a).
Amended by R.1994 d.44, effective 1/18/1994.
See: 25 N.J.R. 2167(a), 26 N.J.R. 353(a).
Amended by R.1995 d.82, effective 2/6/1995.
See: 26 N.J.R. 4277(b), 27 N.J.R. 487(a).
Administrative Correction.
See: 27 N.J.R. 1794(a).
Administrative Change.
See: 27 N.J.R. 2390(b).
Administrative Correction.
See: 27 N.J.R. 3420(a).
Administrative Correction.
See: 27 N.J.R. 3420(b).
Administrative Change.
See: 27 N.J.R. 4916(c).
Emergency amendment R.1996 d.299, effective 5/31/1996 (to expire July 30, 1996).
See: 28 N.J.R. 3182(a).
Administrative Change.
See: 28 N.J.R. 3786(a).
Adopted concurrent proposal, R.1996 d.392, effective 7/24/1996.
See: 28 N.J.R. 3182(a), 28 N.J.R. 3956(a).
Administrative change.
See: 28 N.J.R. 4784(a).
Amended by R.1996 d.587, effective 12/16/1996 (operative January 1, 1997).
See: 28 N.J.R. 3998(a), 28 N.J.R. 5231(a).
Substantially amended section.
Administrative correction.
See: 29 N.J.R. 600(a).
Omitted recodification to (j)12v from a prior recodification corrected.
Administrative change.
See: 29 N.J.R. 1308(c).
In (j), changed the minimum length of summer flounder harvested in a commercial fishery from 13 inches to 14 inches.
Amended by R.1997 d.246, effective 6/2/1997.
See: 29 N.J.R. 285(a), 29 N.J.R. 2555(a).
Amended internal section references throughout; inserted new (j) and (k), recodified former (j) through (n) as (l) through (p), and deleted former ( o) and (p); in (l)3, inserted ". The mesh size shall.... Until such time, the mesh size shall be" and deleted provisions relating to forfeiture of privilege of owners and vessels to land summer flounder of less than 14 inches upon violation of restrictions; in (m)3, (m)4, (n)4, and (o)2, deleted reference to modification by the Commissioner of the open season or mesh size; in (p)1, inserted "during the period ... October 31"; in (p)2, substituted "4.5 inches" for "4.05 inches"; and added (p)3 through (p)12.
Administrative correction.
See: 29 N.J.R. 3251(a).
In (l)2, increased size of summer flounder from 13 to 14 inches; and in (p)4 and 5, substituted "November 1 through December 31" for "November 1 through October 31".
Amended by R.1998 d.40, effective 1/5/1998.
See: 29 N.J.R. 4595(a), 30 N.J.R. 226(a).
Inserted (q)3 and (r).
Administrative change.
See: 30 N.J.R. 1402(b).
Amended by R.1999 d.52, effective 2/16/1999.
See: 30 N.J.R. 3881(a), 31 N.J.R. 538(a).
In (l)12, deleted "by June 30, 1993 for use of otter trawls, pound nets, gill nets or scallop dredges or" following "application" in i, and substituted a reference to fresh product for a reference to fish product in the introductory paragraph of iii.
Administrative change.
See: 31 N.J.R. 1084(a).
Amended by R.2000 d.10, effective 1/3/2000.
See: 31 N.J.R. 2555(a), 32 N.J.R. 48(a).
Rewrote (a), (l) and (p); and in (r), added 4 and 5.
Administrative change.
See: 32 N.J.R. 2230(a).
Administrative change.
See: 32 N.J.R. 4107(a).
Administrative change.
See: 33 N.J.R. 45(a), 45(b).
Administrative change.
See: 33 N.J.R. 1209(b).
Administrative change.
See: 33 N.J.R. 1914(a).
Amended by R.2001 d.346, effective 9/17/2001.
See: 33 N.J.R. 453(a), 33 N.J.R. 3352(a).
In (l), rewrote 4, 5, 9 and 11; in (m), inserted references to Atlantic croaker throughout; rewrote (p); in (q), rewrote 3.
Administrative correction.
See: 33 N.J.R. 3740(a).
Administrative change.
See: 33 N.J.R. 3740(b).
Administrative change.
See: 34 N.J.R. 921(a).
Amended by R.2002 d.277, effective 8/19/2002.
See: 34 N.J.R. 1375(a), 34 N.J.R. 2995(a).
In (l)5i(3), inserted "directed fishery" after "all"; in (l)11, inserted a new sentence after "(l)6 above"; in (m) introductory paragraph substituted "commercial" for "directed"; in (m)4, substituted "more than 150 pounds of" for "any"; in (q)1, inserted "for the purpose of requiring minimum mesh sizes as defined in (q)2 below" after "sea bass"; deleted (q)3.
Administrative change.
See: 35 N.J.R. 709(b).
Amended by R.2004 d.20, effective 1/5/2004.
See: 35 N.J.R. 4224(b), 36 N.J.R. 174(b).
Rewrote the section.
Administrative change.
See: 37 N.J.R. 589(c).
Administrative change.
See: 37 N.J.R. 3696(a).
Amended by R.2008 d.15, effective 1/7/2008.
See: 39 N.J.R. 143(a), 40 N.J.R. 126(a).
In (k), inserted "or to maintain consistency with any Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council plan adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service", and inserted the second and third sentences.
Administrative change and correction.
See: 42 N.J.R. 789(a).
Administrative change and correction.
See: 46 N.J.R. 212(b).
Administrative change.
See: 50 N.J.R. 813(a).

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