New Jersey Scuba Diving
Pots Off the Reefs - Printable Version

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Pots Off the Reefs - njdiver - 01-03-2016



The regulation which restricts potting on the Axel Carlson and Sandy Hook Reefs has been in effect since November 2nd. It restricts potting to specifically designated areas known as "Full Access Zones". The remainder of each reef is off limits. Unfortunately there are many pots that have not been removed from the recreational fishing only zones. Click on the links below which show the full access zones. They are outlined in red. These are the only areas where pots may be deployed.

Axel Carlson

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Sandy Hook

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It may be that the potters are ignorant of the rules or they are testing this new regulation. If you observe pots in the recreational fishing only zone, report them to NJ Fish and Wildlife Marine Enforcement at 609-748-2050. Take a photo of your GPS screen or jot down the lat/long position of the pots to document the location. If you see a potter tending to gear in the recreational fishing only areas, take a photo of the vessel and try to get its name. Again, report it to NJF&W Marine Enforcement.

It behooves them to comply since the penalties for non-compliance are severe. The regulation states that any person who deploys or tends to lobster, fish or conch pots outside the full access zones or between sunset and sunrise shall be subject to the following:

1. First offense: $100 penalty and 30 day suspension of lobster, fish or conch pot license

2. Second offense: $200 penalty and permanent revocation of lobster, fish or conch pot license

The pot line strings may contain no more than 20 pots. The pot lines must be marked with buoys or flags either individually or at the beginning and end of a string. Deployment or tending of gear not properly marked with a buoy or flag or setting of strings with more than 20 pots shall be subject to the following;

1. First offence: $100 penalty and 30 day suspension of license

2. Second offense: $200 penalty and 45 day suspension of license

3. Third offense: $200 penalty and permanent revocation of license

There are provisions for forgiveness if the violator doesn't commit other violations in a subsequent 3 year time frame.

About Jersey Coast Anglers Association

The Jersey Coast Anglers Association is a non-profit organization formed in 1981. The original objective of the JCAA was to combine a loosely fragmented group of marine sportfishing clubs in order to form and promote a united consensus on issues relevant to saltwater anglers in New Jersey. Over the years, the mission of the JCAA has remained unchanged, but now has the added goal of joining forces with organizations having similar objectives in states along the East Coast and national organizations. While the JCAA is relatively young, it has emerged as the most effective organization of its kind on the East Coast. For more information, or for information about becoming a member of the JCAA, please call (732) 506-6565 or