New Jersey Scuba Diving
New Updates for our Atificial Reef Program... - Printable Version

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New Updates for our Atificial Reef Program... - njdiver - 07-06-2015

JERSEY REGISTER
Copyright © 2015 by the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law
VOLUME 47, ISSUE 13
ISSUE DATE: JULY 6, 2015
RULE ADOPTIONS
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
LAND USE MANAGEMENT
47 N.J.R. 1392(a)

Adopted Recodifications with Amendments: N.J.A.C. (Snip) 7:7E-3 as 7:7-9 (Snip)

(Snip)

7:7-9.13 Shipwreck and artificial reef habitats

(a) The shipwreck and artificial reef habitats special area includes all permanently submerged or abandoned remains of vessels and other structures, including, but not limited to, artificial reefs, anchors, quarry rocks or lost cargo, which serve as a special marine habitat or are fragile historic and cultural resources. An artificial reef is a man-made imitation of a natural reef created by placing hard structures on the sea floor for the purpose of enhancing fish habitat and fish stock. In time, an artificial reef will attain many of the biological and ecological attributes of a natural reef. Artificial reefs do not include shore protection structures, pipelines and other structures not constructed for the sole purpose of fish habitat.

1. Known sites include those shown either on National Ocean Survey (N.O.S.) charts or listed in the following publications: W. Krotee and R. Krotee, Shipwrecks Off the New Jersey Coast (1966); B.L. Freeman and L.A. Walford, Angler's Guide to the United States Atlantic Coast Fish, Fishing Grounds, and Fishing Facilities (1974); B. Preim, J. Carlson, B. Figley, A Guide to Fishing and Diving New Jersey Reefs, (2000); and the NJDEP Fisherman Magazine and the Artificial Reefs Association publication, Shipwrecks of New Jersey's Reefs (2003). In addition to known sites, unidentified remains of vessels may exist within tidal waters. Shipwrecks may also be considered historic or archaeological resources pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:7-9.34.

2. Shipwreck and artificial reef habitats may be subject to the marine fish and fisheries rule, N.J.A.C. 7:7-16.2.

(b)-© (No change.)

(d) Rationale: Shipwrecks and other natural or artificial materials can serve as critical habitat for benthic finfish and lobsters, and other invertebrates which prefer shelter in hard substrates otherwise uncommon in New Jersey's marine waters. These areas function as congregation, refuge, feeding, and nursery areas for migratory species and support extensive fisheries. Although artificial reefs have been constructed for angling and diving, their goal is not solely to benefit human-use. A primary goal of an artificial reef is ecosystem and habitat enhancement. Due to the potential of reefs to serve as marine fish congregating areas, commercial and recreational fishing on artificial reefs may be regulated by the Department's Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and/or the Mid Atlantic Fisheries Management Council. As of 2005, New Jersey had 15 reef sites encompassing approximately 26 square miles of sea floor. The sites are strategically located along the State's 120 mile coastline near navigable inlets. Shipwrecks are also fragile historic and cultural resources. Scuba divers from New Jersey and other states visit artificial reefs extensively.

(Snip)

“Due to the potential of reefs to serve as marine fish congregating areas, commercial and recreational fishing on artificial reefs may be regulated by the Department's Division of Fish and Wildlife, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, and/or the Mid Atlantic Fisheries Management Council.”

(Snip)

“Although artificial reefs have been constructed for angling and diving, their goal is not solely to benefit human-use.”

(Snip)

(Snip) = Irrelevant material deleted.