Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Four Delaware artificial reefs in Atlantic Ocean to receive
federal designation July 9 as Special Management Zones
Only hook-and-line and spear fishing will be allowed in designated zones
DOVER (June 12, 2015) – The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has established Special Management Zones (SMZ) at four of Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean artificial reefs under a new rule that was published in the Federal Register and will go into effect July 9. DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife began the SMZ designation process in 2011 to limit fishing gear permitted on the four reefs and thereby eliminate gear conflicts between commercial and recreational fishing and to ensure compliance with restrictions under the federal Sport Fish Restoration program recreational fishing funding used to establish the reefs.
The SMZ will include artificial reef sites 9, 10, 11 and 13 (coordinates available at http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Fisheries/Pages/ArtificialReefProgram.aspx). These four sites range from four to 26 nautical miles off shore. The SMZ for each artificial reef site encompasses the entire permitted reef site, but does not include any buffer areas around them. Although both commercial and recreational fishing will be allowed in the SMZ, the only fishing gear allowed in the SMZ are hook-and-line and spear.
For more information on the SMZ, call DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914 or visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Fisheries.
Vol. 45, No. 189