Anglers will lose about five weeks of black sea bass fishing this year under a plan approved Thursday by the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council.
This year, they will run from May 28 to Sept. 11 and Nov. 1 to Dec.31.
The cutback was not the council’s idea.
A 40 percent reduction in landings was mandated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a compact of East Coast states that regulates migratory fish. The ASMFC said East Coast anglers caught 2.98 million pounds of sea bass in 2010, 1.15 million pounds above the target.
The council gave anglers four options to meet the harvest reduction to make up for last year’s overages. Council unanimously picked the one supported by the majority. It retains last year’s bag limit of 25 fish per day and the minimum fish size of 12.5 inches. The only change is cutting back on the front and back end of the first season.
All four options included a 12.5-inch fish, but two of them reduced the bag limit to 15 fish a day.