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Layer: Prime Fishing Grounds (Points) (ID: 6)

Name: Prime Fishing Grounds (Points)

Display Field: NAME

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Description: The original “New Jersey’s Recreational and Commercial Ocean Fishing Grounds” charts were first created in 1982 with a second printing in 1984. In 2003, the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Bureau of Marine Fisheries, with funding from the Coastal Management Program, updated the map in digital format for inclusion in the Department's Geographic Information System. The updating of the map was accomplished through direct interviews with recreational fishing boat captains. Prime recreational fishing grounds identified in the various publications referenced in the rule and commercially prepared sport fishing charts (Homeport Charts and Charter Boat Charts) were transferred onto two sets of NOAA nautical charts, which served as the working or base map. For fishing grounds within 20 nautical miles of the coast, NOAA nautical charts Series 12326, 12323, 12318 and 12214 at a scale of 1:80,000 were used. For fishing beyond 20 nautical miles NOAA nautical charts Series 12200 and 12300 at a scale of 1:400,000 were used. During the summer of 2003, 28 party boat captains, 47 charter boat captains and 22 private boat captains from each fishing port (inlet) along the Atlantic Coast of New Jersey were interviewed by Department staff. These recreational fishing party boat, charter boat and private boat captains were selected because they fish the ocean waters on a daily basis using a wide variety of methods to catch a variety of fish species. The interview process entailed examining the accuracy of the already delineated prime fishing areas on the base map. Fishermen modified the base map by drawing their changes on the map. In general, modifications to the boundaries of the prime fishing areas resulted in an increase to the size of the prime fishing area. In a similar fashion, the captains drew new prime fishing areas on the base maps. The revised base maps were then digitized into the New Jersey Specific Sport Ocean Fishing Grounds Coverage. In 2018, the NJ Bureau of Marine Fisheries again updated the New Jersey Prime Fishing Grounds to include all current 17 artificial reef sites, and updated Homeport Charts.

Copyright Text: NJDEP

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