As most saltwater fishermen in New York are aware, New York has been pointing up the disparities and unfairness inherent in the current approach used by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to allocate the coastwide recreational and commercial fluke quotas between its member states. New York’s basic contentions are 1) the allocation formulae and process rely on fluke harvest data from the various states from about 15 years ago that is of very questionable accuracy and 2) the distribution of fluke along the U.S. East Coast has changed markedly since this base period, with the population shifting northward, resulting in fluke being now much more abundant in the more northerly reaches of its historic range, including in the waters off New York.
Through the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the State has sought redress of these inequities in the fluke state allocation process through the deliberations of the ASMFC, of which it is a member. These efforts have been largely fruitless. Attached are letters from Governor Andrew Cuomo and DEC Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources Kathy Moser, along with a recent press release, that attest to the seriousness with which the State views this matter and its commitment to securing a fairer allocation of fluke to the fishermen of New York.