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May 17, 2020

Fishing charters and watercraft rentals permitted to resume in New Jersey

The state’s executive order took effect at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning

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Fishing boats new jersey Matt Thornhill/via Unsplash

Chartered boat services and rentals can resume across New Jersey as of Sunday.

Fishing charters and other chartered-boat services, as well as watercraft rentals, are now allowed to resume in New Jersey if social distancing and sanitation measures are implemented, Gov. Phil Murphy announced.

The state’s executive order took effect at 6:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.

Charter fishing services are required to reduce capacity to no more than 10 people on a boat at any one time, mandate crew and passengers to wear face masks while on the boat, prohibit food and beverage service, and advise passengers on social distancing, capacity limits, and hygiene requirements before boarding.

They must also frequently sanitize boats, prevent the sharing of fishing equipment and gear, and implement infection control and hygiene practices. Reservations and payments can only be done over the phone or online.

No make-up or open boat trips are allowed, and social distancing measures—such as demarcation and signage—must be implemented on the boats and in waiting and boarding areas. Only crews can use nets and gaffs, and both crew and passengers should be provided sanitation materials.

“Reopening charter fishing services and watercraft rental businesses restores an extremely important component of our Shore economy,” Gov. Murphy said. “The social distancing measures that we are putting in place will ensure that these businesses can sustain themselves while still adhering to public health guidance.”

Marinas, boatyards, and marine manufacturers in New Jersey were permitted on April 18 to remain open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitation protocols were followed. Restaurants located at marinas and boatyards, like other establishments across the state, can only provide takeout or delivery service. Chartered watercraft services and rentals were banned at the time. 

Murphy’s announcement comes just days after he said that all businesses across New Jersey can begin offering curbside pickup and delivery services on Monday. Customers will not be allowed inside retail stores and must place orders over the phone or online.

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