Blue Claw Crab Industry
- The fishery is healthy. Crabs have the biological capacity rebound quickly after our worst environmental challenges.
- Blue crabs are the only commercial species in New Jersey expected to benefit from the long-term effects of climate change.
- We have a great local crab research resource from Rider University.
- Expansion of infrastructure markets and local processing is planned
- A $15,000 grant in 2018 from New Jersey Community Capital allows for development of an independent crabbers cooperative facility
Bottleneck: Of the 312 commercial crab licenses issued in New Jersey, far less than half are utilized. The state restricts transfer of idle licenses except within a family. Senator Van Drew believed this would change years ago but this remains the #1 artificial restraint on the industry. Without licenses, growth in the industry is stalled.
What we are asking: Increased pressure by the legislature on NJDEP to implement the license transfer policy previously approved to allow for use of idle commercial crab licenses.
- The Nantuxent Creek at Money Island is identified as the #1 preferred choice for a productive type of oyster aquaculture called “FLUPSY” (floating upweller system) that acts as a nursery. This technology has the potential to grow the industry by more than tenfold, as it has in the Chesapeake Bay.
- Several oyster companies are considering expansion of aquaculture at Money Island New Jersey. The NJDEP blocked initial efforts to obtain infrastructure permitting in 2017 and now Attorney General obtained a court order to shut down half of the docks.
- Approval of dredging plans for the Nantuxent Creek was recently announced.
Bottleneck: In 2017 NJDEP discouraged a major seafood company from submitting a permit application, saying that such redevelopment permit would not be issued based on lack of permits at other nearby sites.
What we are asking: State government to redevelop on a site-by-site basis one step at a time rather than a whole community basis.
Recreational and educational use
- Money Island is called the ‘unpolished gem’ of New Jersey’s Delaware Bay shoreline. It is the smallest and most remote shore point in rural Downe Township.
- Money Island Marina was the region’s most diverse, inclusive, affordable and accommodating public facility managed by Baysave with public donations and modest member dues.
- This location offered the only floating docks open to public fishing, is a preferred spot for bird watching and kayaking, picnicking, etc.
- Money Island is the preferred location equidistant between C&D canal and Cape May for a DOT transient boat dock program primarily funded through the federal government.
- All five local New Jersey universities in this region and even two universities from Pennsylvania conduct marine and environmental research here.
Bottleneck: A lack of funding for permitting applications has caused a delay. The Attorney General recently obtained a court order to close the facility to the community to public use until permitting is applied for.
What we are asking: A commitment by government to allow more time for funding of dock permit applications and to support Baysave in forming a public/private partnership for multi-use facilities at Money Island.