Shark fishing etching (from L. Figuer's The Ocean World, 1891)

Link to NJ Fishing Consumer Alert page Link to NJ Fishing Consumer Alert page

Modern fisheries management is accomplished by a complex of sometimes complimentary and sometimes competing public agencies working at various governmental levels and often involving public participation. 

While the fish don't seem to pay very much attention, the environment they inhabit is divided up jurisdictionally and/or politically in a manner that makes little or no sense from a biological/ecological perspective. 

Waters within three miles of a state's coastline, and the fish and shellfish in those waters, are under the jurisdiction of that state's government. In New Jersey waters, the authority of the State government in fisheries matters is exercised by an appointed Marine Fisheries Council, which is authorized by the New Jersey Legislature to design and implement fisheries management regulations. (The New Jersey Legislature has also on occassion - most notably in prohibiting the atatewide sale of striped bass - gotten directly involved in fisheries management isues). 

Fish and shellfish beyond the waters under state control and out to the 200 mile limit of U.S. jurisdiction over mineral and living marine resources are managed by regional fishery management councils, established and operating under the most recent amendments to the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act called the Sustainable Fisheries Act. Fish and shellfish in the waters off New Jersey are managed by the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, with offices in Dover, Delaware. 

The range of each of the regional councils is defined in the Act. The Act also identifies each of the ex officio  members by office and designates the number of appointments allowed to each state as well as the number of at large appointees, who may be from any state in the region. The Mid-Atlantic region includes North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. 

There are a number of fish species that, while spending most if not all of their life inside state's waters, migrate up and down the coastline. To handle these "interjurisdictional" fisheries, Congress established several Coastal Commissions which states join via charters, . New Jersey  falls under the jursidiction of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Each coastal state has three residents appointed to the Commission; the head of the state agency responsible for fisheries management, a member of the state legislature, and a member of the public. 

Finally, there are a number of commercially important fish species that are found either beyond the (usually) 200 mile  limit of individual nation's jurisdiction or migrate through the waters of two or more nations. To manage these fisheries, countries with an interest in them have established international management bodies by treaty. Examples are the International Pacific Halibut Commission, the North Atlantic Fisheries Organization and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.

Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
While New Jersey is a bit beyond the jurisdiction of the PSMFC, the ASMFC doesn't have a web site yet. The idea is the same, the coast is different. 
South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council
Ditto for the Mid-Atlantic Council. 
Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program
An initiative by the federal, state and regional agencies involved in fisheries management on the East coast to establish a shared database of fisheries information. 
Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council
The Mid-Atlantic Council is responsible for managing the fisheries in the EEZ off the Mid-Atlantic states
New England Fishery Management Council
The New England Council is responsible for managing the fisheries in the EEZ off the New England states
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
The Gulf of Mexico Council is responsible for managing the fisheries in the EEZ of the Gulf of Mexico