In New York, management of marine fisheries is the joint responsibility of the New York State Legislature and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The Legislature authorizes DEC to manage certain aspects of our marine fisheries by regulation and retains sole responsibility for other aspects of marine fisheries management. The Legislature can rescind or expand DEC’s regulatory authority and may pass a bill that supersedes any specific regulation. Of course, if the Legislature passes a bill, that bill must still be signed into law by the Governor before it can take effect.

All legislation being considered by the State Legislature (not just in marine fisheries or marine environmental issues, but in all issues of interest to the state) can be accessed through the World Wide Web Sites maintained by the New York State Senate ( and the New York State Assembly ( The text of each bill is available, as is (usually) its legislative history and bill memo, which explains the reason(s) why the bill sponsor(s) think it is a good idea. Either site can be searched by bill number or by keyword (e.g., bluefish or “marine fisheries.”

Also available through the these two web sites is the text of the Laws of New York, including the Environmental Conservation Law and its several articles dealing with marine fisheries and marine resources, generally.

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