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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Assembly Committee Passes Fishery Task Force

By Herald Staff

TRENTON — Legislation 1st District Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matthew Milam sponsored to help secure the long-term economic future of New Jersey’s saltwater fisheries and aquaculture industries was released today from the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
The measure (AJR-77) would establish a 19-member Task Force on Saltwater Fisheries and Aquaculture to navigate a course for growth and expansion in the potentially lucrative industries.
Commercial fishing and aquaculture contribute over $150 million annually to New Jersey’s economy. Recreational fishing contributes $45 million in sales tax revenue.
“Despite saltwater fisheries and aquaculture having a high potential for growth, the state has not been able to provide the long-term strategic support these industries need to flourish,” said Albano (D-1st). ‘We need the state to be an active partner in electing a systematic course for growth.”
‘This may be the first time a state entity will look into the strengths and weaknesses of these industries to develop forward-looking strategies for expansion,” said Milam (D-1st). “It would be good for the economy of South Jersey and a boon to the state.”
Of the 19 members in the task force, three would be the Senate and three from the Assembly. Members also would be appointed from the academic community, groups involved in the maritime industries, and the Marine Fisheries Council.
The task force would be required to submit its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature within six months of being established.
The measure was released 5 to 0 with zero abstentions. It now heads to the Assembly Speaker who will decide if and when to post it for a floor vote.

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