Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has dismissed the findings of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which concluded that New Jersey was violating a conversation plan for summer flounder (also known as fluke).
Millions of fluke are caught along the east coast every summer, however, due to overfishing, the fluke population is currently 42% below the level regulators consider to be sustainable. Ross will allow New Jersey to continue with a plan that will result in nearly 94,000 additional summer flounder being caught without the consideration from the fisheries commission.
“The secretary’s decision goes against long-standing protocol, and there’s a cost to that,” said John Bullard, NOAA’s Greater Atlantic regional administrator. Fishing officials worry that Ross’s decision could open a Pandora’s box, in which states feel free to reject the commission’s findings and appeal directly to federal authorities. Ross’s decision might have been influenced by President Trump’s close relationship to New Jersey Governor Chis Christie who, at one point was in consideration for the vice presidential role.
Source: The Boston Globe