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The U.S. Senate has confirmed Jeff Kaelin, of Lund’s Fisheries in Cape May, N.J., as Governor Phil Murphy’s proxy to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). New Jersey was the only state on the commission that lacked a commercial representative. With this confirmation, both commercial and recreational fishermen will have representation on the Commission.
“I am extremely honored to have been chosen by Governor Murphy for this position, and thank Senate President Scutari and Senator Testa for supporting me through the confirmation process. It has been a long wait and I’m excited to get to work on behalf of New Jersey,” Kaelin said.
First time in nearly twenty years
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is a regional multi-state compact with each state having three voting members. This represents the first time in nearly twenty years that New Jersey commercial fishermen have had a representative on it. N.J. has been the only state on the commission that lacks a commercial representative during all this time.
In its announcement of the appointment, the Garden State Seafood Association (GSSA) – an association comprised of commercial fishermen, shore-based processors, commercial dock facilities, seafood markets, restaurants, and several industry-supported New Jersey businesses, including Lund’s Fisheries – has expressed enthusiasm for the decision by both Governor Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to support Kaelin. “We are excited that the Governor and NJDEP agree that both commercial and recreational fishermen should have representation,” they said.
In addition to his position as Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs at Lund’s Fisheries, Jeff Kaelin has also served as a member of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council. This is one of several councils and committees involved in managing fish and wildlife resources in N.J. State, advising the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). However, it is unique in state government because it can veto marine fishery regulations proposed by the DEP Commissioner. The GSSA has emphasized that Kaelin has been a well-respected, competent, and fair Board member who takes his role and responsibilities very seriously.
A real asset to represent New Jersey fishermen
“We believe Mr. Kaelin is an excellent choice to represent the State of New Jersey on the ASMFC,” they said. “He possesses extensive knowledge of many aspects of New Jersey’s marine issues that impact commercial and recreational sectors. He is familiar with the administrative and regulatory issues that are an integral part of being an effective Commission member.”
“On behalf of New Jersey, he remains a real asset to the complex world of fisheries management, and the precious marine resources of our State and Nation. And he is dedicated to continuing his fair and balanced advocacy on behalf of all New Jersey fishermen and fisherwomen and all our marine fisheries resources,” the Garden State Seafood Association added.
“New Jersey has the most amazing marine environment, with the Cold Pool offering our State and region a one-of-a-kind destination for a wide variety of marine creatures,” Jeff Kaelin stated on his part. “I look forward to working with the Commission to support New Jersey’s recreational and commercial fishing communities while ensuring sustainable fishery resources for future generations,” he concluded.
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