The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife will have a new tool to use in its ongoing efforts to enforce wildlife laws as the state joins the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.
The compact, first developed in western states in the
mid-1980s, recognizes the importance of deterrence through the
suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and privileges in
all member states resulting from violations concerning the pursuit,
possession or taking of a wide range of wildlife, including mammals,
birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, shellfish, and
crustaceans. New Jersey’s membership will begin on December 1.
“This cooperative and proactive interstate strategy will greatly
enhance our Division of Fish and Wildlife’s ability to protect and
manage our wildlife resources,” said Commissioner Martin. “Any person
who has their license privileges suspended in one member state may now
also have them suspended in all other member states. In addition, the
compact prevents convicted poachers who are under revocation in one
state from hunting, fishing, or trapping in other states.”
For the purposes of the compact, the term “license”
means any license, permit, or other public document which conveys to
the person to whom it was issued the privilege of pursuing, possessing,
or taking any wildlife regulated by statute, law, regulation,
ordinance, or administrative rule of a participating state.
In New Jersey this definition includes but is not
limited to: all-around sportsman, firearm hunting, trapping, bow and
arrow, freshwater fishing, recreational crab pot, non-commercial crab
dredge and shellfish licenses, various hunting and trapping permits,
pheasant & quail and New Jersey waterfowl stamps, striped bass
bonus tags, and saltwater registry certificates.
License and privilege suspensions resulting from
wildlife violations committed on or after December 1, 2017 in New
Jersey may result in the reciprocal suspension of license privileges in
member states. If a person plans to hunt, fish, or trap in another
state, and has a license privilege suspension in New Jersey, it is
their responsibility to contact the other state to verify if they may
legally hunt, fish, or trap there.
New Jersey residents who fail to comply with the terms
of a citation or summons issued for a wildlife violation in another
member state may face a $50 fine and the suspension of all privileges
to take or possess wildlife in New Jersey until the citation has been
satisfied. Failing to appear in court or to otherwise answer a ticket or
summons issued for such violations will also result in license,
permit, and privilege suspension.
“Our agency has been charged with managing New Jersey’s
wildlife resources for 125 years and we take this responsibility very
seriously,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Larry
Herrighty. “Joining the compact protects New Jersey’s wildlife
resources and that of member states by deterring violators from
continuing their illegal activities and sends a clear message to all
that such behavior will not be tolerated.”
The concept of a wildlife violator compact was first
advanced in the early 1980s by member states in the Western Association
of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. In 1985 draft compacts were developed
independently in Colorado and Nevada. Subsequently, these drafts were
merged and the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact was created.
More information on the Compact, including which states are members and
which violations with prescribed suspensions will be recognized in New
Jersey and shared with member states is available on the Division of
Fish and Wildlife website at: www.njfishandwildlife.com/violators_compact.htm
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