Proposal to cut fine for horseshoe crabbing

June 9, 2008 7:37:46 AM PDT
A bill that would significantly reduce the fines for illegally harvesting horseshoe crabs in New Jersey is being considered.

Sen. Jeff Van Drew's proposal would lower fines to $2,500 from $10,000. The Democrat says the change is necessary because commercial fishermen earn modest salaries and violators are subject to additional penalties under a commercial fisheries law.

The bill was pulled from the Senate Environmental Committee agenda in May but is up for consideration Monday.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine signed a law in March imposing an indefinite crabbing ban. The law aims to help a threatened migrating shorebird that feeds on the crabs' eggs.