New Jersey Scuba Diving
NJ Reef Regulations Final Rule is published! - Printable Version

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NJ Reef Regulations Final Rule is published! - njdiver - 11-04-2015

Full text of the adoption follows (deletion from proposal indicated in brackets with asterisks *[thus]*):

7:25-18.5 General net regulations

(a)-(f) (No change)

(g) Individuals intending to take fish with a net in the marine waters of this State pursuant to N.J.S.A. 23:5-24.2 shall, as required, apply to the Commissioner for a license and/or permit. To be eligible for a gill net license in 2003, an applicant must provide a copy of a previously valid New Jersey gill net license held by the applicant between January 1, 1997, and July 13, 2000. Individuals may purchase the greatest number of each type of gill net license they held in any one calendar year between January 1, 1997, and July 13, 2000. To be eligible for a gill net license in all subsequent years, an applicant must provide a copy of a previously valid gill net license held by the applicant from the preceding year. Individuals must purchase the maximum number of gill net licenses to which they are entitled annually. Any licenses not purchased will be forfeited. The holder of a valid gill net license not pending revocation or court action due to violation of provisions of this subchapter may transfer the right to purchase all of the gill net licenses he or she is entitled to purchase to another individual at any time, upon notification to the Department. The new licensee shall have a license(s) issued in his or her name after payment of the fee specified in (g)5vi or (g)6ix below. Any licenses not purchased by the new entrant will be forfeited. Individuals who applied to the gill net delayed entry program prior to July 12, 2000, and who obtained gill net licenses after the July 13th control date in 2000 or 2001 or who obtained gill net licenses or are eligible to obtain gill net licenses in 2002, will be restricted to purchase a maximum of two drifting and/or six staked or anchored gill net licenses. Any licenses not purchased in any year will be forfeited. Availability of Delaware Bay Gill Net Permits shall be determined pursuant to N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.6 through 18.11. Upon receipt of the application, and the prescribed license fee, the Commissioner may, in his or her discretion, issue single season licenses and/or permits as specified for each net type for the taking of fish with nets only as follows:

1.-10. (No change)

11. Lobster or fish pots may be used for the taking of all species except those specifically protected and pursuant to the specific requirements of N.J.A.C. 7:25-14.3 through 14.20 and shall be used only in the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, Raritan Bay, and Sandy Hook Bay except as provided in N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.5A or (g)11ix below.

i.-viii. (No change.)

ix. A modified lobster or fish pot may be used for the taking of conchs or whelks and spider crabs in all marine waters of the State including the Atlantic Ocean with the exception of the Newark Bay Complex and except as provided in N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.5A.

(1)-(3) (No change.)

x.-xi. (No change.)

12. (No change.)

(h)-(m) (No change.)

7:25-18.5A Artificial reefs

(a) This section establishes the location of the artificial reefs located in State waters and the full access zones located within certain reefs. The artificial reefs are open to all recreational and commercial activities except no person shall use, leave, deploy, or tend any lobster, fish, or conch pot within an artificial reef located in State waters except in an area designated as a full access zone under this section. Persons who use, leave, deploy, or tend lobster, fish, or conch pots in a full access zone may do so only in compliance with (d) below.

(b) The locations and boundaries of the Sandy Hook Reef site and the Axel J. Carlson Jr. Reef site are as follows:

1. The Sandy Hook Reef site is located approximately 1.4 miles east of Sea Bright, Monmouth County. The site is lo-cated approximately 5.7 nautical miles at a compass bearing of 157 degrees from Sandy Hook Channel. The boundaries of the Sandy Hook Reef site are as follows (latitude and longitude expressed as dd mm.mmm, that is, degrees minutes and thousandths of minutes):


Boundaries Latitude Longitude

NE Corner 40 23.300' 73 55.880'

NW Corner 40 23.300' 73 56.600'

SE Corner 40 20.880' 73 55.880'

SW Corner 40 20.880' 74 56.600'



2. The Axel J. Carlson Jr. Reef site is located approximately 2.0 miles east of Mantoloking, Ocean County. The site is located approximately 4.4 nautical miles at a compass bearing of 166 degrees from Manasquan Inlet. The boundaries of the Axel J. Carlson Jr. Reef site are as follows (latitude and longitude expressed as dd mm.mmm, that is, degrees minutes and thousandths of minutes):


Boundaries Latitude Longitude

NE Corner 40 03.720' 73 58.570'

NW Corner 40 04.180' 73 59.750'

SE Corner 39 59.830' 73 59.400'

SW Corner 40 00.350' 74 00.650'



© The boundaries of the full access zones are as follows:

1. At the Sandy Hook Reef site, the full access zone is that portion of the Sandy Hook Reef site lying within a continu-ous line beginning at 40 22.800' 73 56.600' to 40 22.800' 73 55.880'; then south to 40 22.500' 73 55.880'; then west to 40 22.500' 73 56.300'; then south to 40 22.400' 73 56.300' and west to 40 22.400' 73 56.600' (latitude and longitude expressed as dd mm.mmm, that is, degrees minutes and thousandths of minutes).

2. At the Axel J. Carlson, Jr. Reef site, there are two full access zones, the North full access zone and the South full ac-cess zone.

i. The North full access zone is that portion of the Axel J. Carlson, Jr. Reef site lying within a continuous line beginning at 40 04.180' 73 59.750' to 40 04.110' 73 59.600'; then south to 40 03.500' 73 59.600'; then west to 40 03.500' 73 59.906' (latitude and longitude expressed as dd mm.mmm, that is, degrees minutes and thousandths of minutes); and

ii. The South full access zone is that portion of the Axel J. Carlson, Jr. Reef site lying within a continuous line beginning at 40 00.900' 74 00.499' to 40 00.900' 74 00.000'; then south to 40 00.060' 74 00.000'; then west to 40 00.350' 74 00.650' (latitude and longitude expressed as dd mm.mmm, that is, degrees minutes and thousandths of minutes).

(d) Any person intending to use, leave, deploy, or tend any lobster, fish, or conch pot within a full access zone shall hold the appropriate license as provided under N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.5(g)11 and shall comply with the following:

1. Lobster, fish, and conch pots shall be used, left, deployed, or tended only:

i. In an area designated as a full access zone under this section *[when within an artificial reef]*; and

ii. Between sunrise and sunset.

2. When deploying lobster, fish, and conch pots or setting strings of such pots, the following requirements shall be met:

i. All deployed lobster, fish, and conch pots shall be marked with buoys or flags, either individually or at the beginning and end of a string. All buoys, flags, and strings shall meet the requirements of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region's Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan and Harbor [page=2673] Porpoise Take Reduction Plan, and the NOAA Office of Protected Resources' Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan, 50 CFR Part 229, and any amendments thereto, incorporated herein by reference. The Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Plan is available from NOAA at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.nero.noaa.gov/Protected/whaletrp/">http://www.nero.noaa.gov/Protected/whaletrp/</a><!-- m -->, the Harbor Porpoise Take Reduction Plan is available at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.nero.noaa.gov/protected/porptrp/">http://www.nero.noaa.gov/protected/porptrp/</a><!-- m -->, and the Bottlenose Dolphin Take Reduction Plan is available at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/trt/bdtrp.htm">http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/interactions/trt/bdtrp.htm</a><!-- m -->.

ii. Strings of lobster, fish, and conch pots shall contain no more than 20 pots.

3. Two hours' notice shall be provided to the Marine Law Enforcement Unit by calling (609) 748-2050 prior to any lob-ster, fish, or conch pot being deployed. The notice shall include the operator's name; vessel name; license number for the lobster, fish, and conch pots or traps being tended; date, time, and port of landing; and on what reef and in what zone the pots will be deployed.

(e) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be subject to the following penalties and/or suspension or revocation of the applicable license:

1. Deployment or tending of lobster, fish, or conch pots outside a designated full access zone or between sunset and sunrise:

i. First offense: $ 100.00 penalty and 30-day suspension of lobster, fish, or conch pot license.

ii. Second offense: $ 200.00 penalty and permanent revocation of lobster, fish, or conch pot license.

2. Deployment or tending of gear not marked or not properly marked with a buoy or flag, or setting strings with more than 20 pots or strings not meeting the requirements of (d)2 above:

i. First offense: $ 100.00 penalty and 30-day suspension of lobster, fish, or conch pot license.

ii. Second offense: $ 200.00 penalty and 45-day suspension of lobster, fish, or conch pot license.

iii. Third offense: $ 200.00 penalty and permanent revocation of lobster, fish, or conch pot license.

3. Failure to provide notification in accordance with (d)3 above:

i. First offense: $ 100.00 penalty.

ii. Second offense: $ 200.00 penalty.

iii. Third or subsequent offenses: $ 200.00 penalty and 30-day suspension of lobster, fish, or conch pot license.

(f) In calculating the period of suspension or revocation applicable pursuant to (e) above, the number of previous sus-pensions imposed pursuant to (e)1, 2, or 3 above, respectively, shall be reduced by one for each three-year period in which the license holder does not commit any other violation subject to penalty and/or suspension or revocation under the same paragraph in (e) above. If more than one suspension is imposed under the same paragraph (for example, two violations subject to (e)2 above) within a three-year period, only one of those suspensions may be forgiven under this subsection. Therefore, a license holder who incurs more than one suspension under a single paragraph of (e) above within a three-year period shall not be considered a first offender under this subsection regardless of the length of any subsequent period without violation. Any reduction in suspensions as provided in this subsection applies only to the determination of the period of suspension. All prior suspensions shall be taken into account in calculating monetary penalties in accordance with section (e) above.