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[C] Marine | Mission And Work




The Marine Resources Administration, which is divided into two bureaus – the Bureau of Marine Fisheries and the Bureau of Marine Habitat and Shellfisheries – is charged with managing the State’s marine fish and shellfish resources, their habitats, and the commercial and recreational fisheries reliant upon them.  With 127 miles of Atlantic coast and 83 miles of bay shore, there is a lot of area to cover. To manage the various resources, the administration conducts research and inventory projects designed to provide data on fishery resources and their habitats. The Administration also plays a vital role in the review of various coastal development and offshore wind energy proposals, regulation of submerged aquatic vegetation habitat, living shorelines, direction of the Artificial Reef Program and shellfish aquaculture development, as well as the oversight of several habitat enhancement projects and a shell recycling program. 


Highlights of current, past and ongoing activities.


Current programs and initiatives actively managed by the Marine Resource Administration include:

frequently asked questions

There are a number of ways that members of the public can get involved and contribute to conservation and management of marine resources. Members of the public can sign up to join Fish and Wildlife’s Wildlife Conservation Corp and volunteer their time to help out with DEP programs and initiatives (SIGN UP HERE). Additionally, anglers can submit fishing trip reports to the Recreational Saltwater Volunteer Angler Survey to contribute important recreational harvest and fishing effort data (REPORT HERE). For information on employment opportunities within Fish and Wildlife, CLICK HERE.
Survey data collected by fisheries biologists are used by resource managers to develop local, regional, and coastwide Fishery Management Plans with the goal of crafting regulations that allow for the sustainable harvest of marine resources when the data supports it. After thorough technical review at the interstate and regional levels, ASMFC, MAFMC, and New Jersey’s Marine Fisheries Council develops and approves New Jersey’s commercial and recreational regulations based on this data. The Marine Fisheries Council meets regularly and accepts public comment to help guide their decision making, LEARN MORE.
New Jersey recently initiated a fisheries inventory survey in the Raritan Bay to gain a better understanding of the fish species that use lower Raritan River Estuary which has been a project a long time in the making. Researchers routinely evaluate the potential for new surveys based on research priorities and species of greatest concern and develop surveys with the goal of collecting the quality and quantity of data needed to meaningfully contribute to the stock assessment process.
Gear types are selected based upon the species and species’ life history being targeted and the habitat being surveyed. For example, the Bureau of Marine Fisheries has a long standing trawl survey that develops a general inventory of recreationally, commercially, and ecologically important marine resources along our coast. While this type of gear does a great job of sampling open ocean floor it is a poor choice (for both the gear and the habitat) for sampling over hard structure such as natural and artificial reefs. As a result, the Bureau of Marine Fisheries initiated a ventless trap survey to sample these different habitats. This type of gear allows fisheries biologists to collect better data on structure associated species such as tautog, black sea bass, and lobster which might be underrepresented in the trawl net survey that cannot sample on their preferred habitat.


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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2023
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
Last Update: August 11th, 2023