In football the word “intercept” means to take away, but not when it comes to fishing. Intercepts are being done by 17 seasonal employees of the Division of Fish and Wildlife across the state as part of the Access Point Intercept Surveys for New Jersey. These folks are paid $13 per hour and use their own cars and resources to collect data used to improve fisheries management.
All has gone very well until several of these seasonal interceptors were asked to pay full fares on party boats. The state cannot undertake paying party boats and these employees are not able to be reimbursed for the charges. Several party boats have said “no problem” but the fact that some are charging is disturbing.
To be fair it could be that mates are just doing what they are told and not checking with the captain prior to sailing or if that is not the case a bigger problem could be festering. Tired of all the regulatory strangleholds on their fisheries boat captains may be drawing a line in the sand by not cooperating. Marine Fisheries Bureau Chief Russ Allen has circulated a letter to all the party boats notifying them of this conflict. NJOA seeks to be part of the resolution by bringing this matter to light and subsequently before legislators.