A Pilot Trap Survey of Artificial Reefs in New Jersey for Monitoring of Black Sea Bass, Tautog, and Lobster



Date Removed

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Trenton, N.J. : New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection


Three of the most important target species of commercial and recreational fisheries in New Jersey are structure-associated species that may not be sampled effectively by existing scientific trawl surveys. Black sea bass (Centropristis striata) are commonly targeted by commercial and recreational fisheries along the U.S. Atlantic coast. In 2015, black sea bass were the second most commonly caught target species by recreational anglers both along the entire Atlantic coast (13 million fish: NMFS, 2016) and in New Jersey (2.4 million fish: NMFS, 2017). Similarly, Tautog (Tautoga onitis) are also one of the most important target species of marine recreational fisheries in New Jersey (i.e., #5 by numbers: NMFS, 2017). American lobster (Homerus americanus) support a valuable commercial fishery in New Jersey, with the dockside value ranging from $2.2-$4 million in recent years (NMFS, 2017). While all three of these species are captured in trawl surveys, they are believed to primarily inhabit rocky reefs and wrecks, which are generally avoided by vessels fishing with bottom trawls. As a result, the reliability of scientific bottom trawl surveys for providing an index of relative abundance for these species is uncertain.



New Jersey, Black sea bass - New Jersey, Tautog - New Jersey, American lobster - New Jersey, Artificial reefs