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Final Rule to Implement Special Management Zone Designation for 13 Artificial Reef Sites in the Exclusive Economic Zone

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 6, 2018

NOAA Fisheries has published a final rule to designate 13 New Jersey artificial reef sites as special management zones (SMZ). This action:

  • Establishes year-round SMZs for 13 New Jersey artificial reefs; and
  • Allows only handline, rod and reel, or spear fishing (including the taking of fish by hand) in these areas. All other gears will be prohibited beginning on August 8, 2018.

 This action will be effective on August 8, 2018. Vessels must remove all other gear types (e.g., pot/trap gear) from these reef sites prior to this date. A map of the 13 SMZs is located on page 2 of this bulletin, and the coordinates for each SMZ are available on page 3. For a more detailed description of each SMZ, please visit the black sea bass portion of our website, located here.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Why is NOAA Fisheries designating these areas as SMZs?

Due to complaints about gear conflicts between rod and reel and pot/trap gear on these reef sites, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discontinued its funding of the New Jersey Reef Program through the Sportfish Restoration Program. As a result, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council requested this action to restore this funding and minimize gear conflicts on these reefs.

Can I continue fishing on these SMZs with rod and reel gear?

Yes. This action allows vessels to continue to fish on these reefs with rod and reel gear.

Are all commercial gear banned from these areas?

No. Handline, rod and reel, or spearfishing are allowed. If you have the proper State and Federal permits, you can continue to fish commercially using one of these gear types. However, all other fixed and mobile gears are banned, including pots/traps, and pelagic longline. 

How far away from the SMZs do I have to move my pots/traps?

Prohibited gear must be removed from within the boundaries of each SMZ. There are no buffer zones associated with these SMZs, so pot/trap fishing can continue immediately adjacent to the SMZs. See boundaries in the attached chart and coordinates.

 Image of 13 Artificial Reef Sites

Location of the 13 artificial reef sites that NMFS is designating as SMZs. Atlantic City Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

39° 16.90’

74° 15.28’

SE Corner

39° 13.93’

74° 11.80’

SW Corner

39° 13.30’

74° 12.70’

NW Corner

39° 16.22’

74° 16.18’

NE Corner

39° 16.90’

74° 15.28’

 

Barnegat Light Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

39° 45.87’

74° 01.10’

SE Corner

39° 44.62’

74° 01.10’

SW Corner

39° 44.62’

74° 01.95’

NW Corner

39° 45.87’

74° 01.95’

NE Corner

39° 45.87’

74° 01.10’

 

Cape May Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

38° 53.45’

74° 39.43’

SE Corner

38° 50.07’

74° 42.25’

SW Corner

38° 50.67’

74° 43.25’

NW Corner

38° 53.97’

74° 40.62’

NE Corner

38° 53.45’

74° 39.43’

 

Deepwater Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

38° 59.00’

74° 10.50’

SE Corner

38° 58.00’

74° 10.50’

SW Corner

38° 58.00’

74° 11.50’

NW Corner

38° 59.00’

74° 11.50’

NE Corner

38° 59.00’

74° 10.50’

 

Garden State North Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

39° 38.05’

74° 00.70’

SE Corner

39° 37.05’

74° 01.00’

SW Corner

39° 37.00’

74° 02.50’

NW Corner

39° 37.98’

74° 02.20’

NE Corner

39° 38.05’

74° 00.70’

 

Garden State South Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

39° 33.82’

74° 05.75’

SE Corner

39° 33.33’

74° 05.85’

SW Corner

39° 33.33’

74° 07.35’

NW Corner

39° 33.80’

74° 07.20’

NE Corner

39° 33.82’

74° 05.75’

 

Great Egg Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

39° 15.00’

74° 21.00’

SE Corner

39° 14.00’

74° 21.00’

SW Corner

39° 14.00’

74° 22.00’

NW Corner

39° 15.00’

74° 22.00’

NE Corner

39° 15.00’

74° 21.00’

Little Egg Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

39° 29.00’

74° 10.00’

SE Corner

39° 28.00’

74° 10.00’

SW Corner

39° 28.00’

74° 12.00’

NW Corner

39° 29.00’

74° 12.00’

NE Corner

39° 29.00’

74° 10.00’

 

Ocean City Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

39° 10.75’

74° 32.45’

SE Corner

39° 09.40’

74° 34.62’

SW Corner

39° 09.82’

74° 34.97’

NW Corner

39° 11.10’

74° 32.85’

NE Corner

39° 10.75’

74° 32.45’

 

Sea Girt Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

40° 08.22’

73° 55.52’

ME Corner

40° 07.30’

73° 56.67’

SE Corner

40° 06.13’

73° 57.12’

SW Corner

40° 06.17’

73° 57.57’

MW Corner

40° 07.48’

73° 57.15’

NW Corner

40° 08.63’

73° 55.73’

NE Corner

40° 08.22’

73° 55.52’

 

Shark River Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

40° 07.33’

73° 41.08’

SE Corner

40° 06.20’

73° 41.08’

SW Corner

40° 06.20’

73° 41.80’

NW Corner

40° 07.33’

73° 41.80’

NE Corner

40° 07.33’

73° 41.08’

 

Townsend Inlet Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

39°06.70’

74°36.00’

SE Corner

39°06.25’

74°36.00’

SW Corner

39°06.25’

74°37.50’

NW Corner

39°06.70’

74°37.50’

NE Corner

39°06.70’

74°36.00’

 

Wildwood Reef Site.

POINT

N. Lat.

W. Long.

NE Corner

38° 57.85’

74° 39.70’

SE Corner

38° 56.58’

74° 41.40’

SW Corner

38° 57.55’

74° 42.60’

NW Corner

38° 58.80’

74° 40.90’

NE Corner

38° 57.85’

74° 39.70’

 

For small entity compliance guides, this bulletin complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996.  This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region.