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Recent Announcements and News

Upcoming Commercial Fisheries Licensing Review Meetings

New York Fisheries Licensing Report

Marine fisheries consultant George Lapointe produced a report of recommendations in an effort to revise and improve New York State commercial licensing system. A report of LaPointe’s findings is now available. DEC encourages all stakeholders to review the New York Marine Fisheries Licensing Report (PDF) and provide comments on the recommendations.

Submit written comments by:

  • Email to with subject line “GLP Permits”
  • Mail to Maureen Davidson, NYSDEC, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite #1, East Setauket, New York 11733.

Comments will be accepted through September 30, 2019.

DEC will host two meetings in Suffolk and Nassau county for stakeholders to review the report, ask questions, and provide verbal and written comments.

  • Tuesday, August 20, 2019, 6 PM: Bishop Malloy Recreational Center, 15 Parkside Road Drive, Point Lookout, NY 11569
  • Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 6 PM: East Hampton Town Hall, 159 Pantigo Road, East Hampton, NY 11937

Public Meeting on Commercial Licensing Assessment Review

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will hold its first meeting to announce outcomes of the Commercial Licensing Assessment Review generated by marine fisheries consultant George LaPointe on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, 6 p.m. at Stony Brook University’s Charles B. Wang Center, located at 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (Google Maps). Information on how to access the meeting’s live audio via WebEx will be available on DEC’s website preceding the meeting.

In March 2018, DEC’s Division of Marine Resources engaged LaPointe, a marine fisheries consultant well-versed in current marine fisheries issues, to review and provide feedback on the State’s current management of the licensing of commercial marine fishermen in New York. Lapointe’s experience in managing state fisheries and licensing has enabled him to capture the diverse views and needs of New York’s commercial fishing industry.

New York’s current licensing system has evolved over the past 30 years in response to changing fish populations in New York State waters. A list of the topics that have been addressed during this project include:

  • Specifying qualifications for license issuance
  • License transferability
  • Identifying means of entry for new participants in New York’s fisheries
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resolution of the latent licenses issue

series of public meetings were held by DEC and LaPointe to allow commercial fisheries stakeholders to ask questions and provide insight into the current licensing system. LaPointe has examined the input and comments from stakeholders and assessed the current marine commercial licensing system in order to provide recommendations on how to improve and revise it.

Submit Public Comments

A report of LaPointe’s findings will be available on the DEC’s web page at the conclusion of the first meeting. DEC encourages all stakeholders to review this document and provide written comments by e-mail to with the subject line “GLP Permits,” or by mail to Maureen Davidson, NYSDEC, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite #1, East Setauket, New York 11733. Comments will be accepted until September 30, 2019.

Additional Stakeholder Meetings

The Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC) will also hold a meeting to discuss and provide feedback on report recommendations. An MRAC meeting is scheduled for July 23, 2019, 6 p.m. at Stony Brook University’s Charles B. Wang Center, located at 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY 11794 (Google Maps).

In August 2019, DEC will host two additional meetings in both Suffolk and Nassau counties for stakeholders to review the report, ask questions, and provide verbal and written comments. Information about these meetings will be available as dates and locations are determined and will be posted to the Commercial Licensing Assessment Review web page.

For Further Information

For additional information on meeting information and the public comment period, visit DEC’s website.

For directions and parking instructions at the Charles B. Wang Center, visit Stony Brook University’s website.

NYS Grown & Certified program for Seafood grown or landed (wild-caught) in New York State

New York State is launching the New York State Grown & Certified Seafood Application for Producers and Processors.

This voluntary program is a cooperative effort among producers, processors , wholesalers, retailers , restaurants and the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets to meet high-quality food and agricultural products. Upon acceptance to the New York State Grown & Certified program, participants will be able to display a new high-impact label that will clearly stand out, telling the consumer their food handling practices are audited and they operate their farms in an environmentally responsible manner.

There is no fee for joining the program. Please review the attached application for program details.

2019 NYS Grown Certified- Seafood

Comments on MAFMC Public Hearing on Summer Flounder Commercial Issues Amendment

Please forward this to any NY commercial fishermen or other interested NY stakeholders

Because the MAFMC did not approve of the motions made by NY’s MAFMC representatives to address the state by state quota inequity in the fluke fishery during the joint April 2018 MAFMC/ASMFC meeting, we as NYS stakeholders must request of MAFMC that two motions be re-added to the draft amendment via public comment by Friday, October 12, 2018.

There was a public hearing last week that I know was difficult to get to in Stony Brook, so we really need to get comments, a lot of them, sent in to the MAFMC by Friday.

You can do so in one of two ways:

1) I have created a Google form as a quick way to do so- please share it with ANY AND ALL NY fluke fishery stakeholders. Click here and fill out. And share that link with ANY AND ALL STAKEHOLDERS THAT CAN BREATHE AND TYPE. SHARE, SHARE and SHARE via social media also! I will be putting it on my personal FB page and the LICFA Facebook page.

Click the box that says

I request that the Mid Atlantic Fishery Mgt Council move to develop two additional options to the summer flounder draft amendment. One: to negotiate new state quota shares of summer flounder, and Two: to include coastwise quota and management of summer flounder

and then go to the next statement below

Please include your name, mailing address and describe how you are a stakeholder within the New York commercial fluke fishery, along with any other pertinent info related as it relates to the summer flounder (fluke) draft amendment

By that I mean briefly tell who you are, full name, with your full mailing address included, and why as a stakeholder, getting a bigger/more fair share of the quota is important to you.

Within the description, a stakeholders would include comm fishermen, license holders, their crew, pack-out docks, seafood shops, ice houses, fish buyers, fish dealers and their employees, wholesalers, restaurant owners, chefs, restaurant patrons, fluke-eating consumers at large, and the wives/husbands/children of commercial fishermen here in New York. In other words anyone that you know that has an NY involvement with fluke directly or indirectly. Catch it, ice it, box it, truck it, sell it, cook it or eat it. Boat to plate, have them fill out this form. Everyone.

The public comment period is open until 11:59 p.m. on October 12th. The close-off on comments through this Google form will be at 10 p.m. on Friday October 12 so they can be submitted to the MAFMC. I’ve already spoken to someone at the MAFMC that has told me that a spreadsheet format (which I will be printing out to send) would be accepted as separate letters. I will confirm that with the specific MAFMC fluke amendment folks tomorrow.

Should you wish to not use this format, you may still use the contact info below to comment until 11:50 on Friday.


Chris Moore, Ph.D., Executive Director
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
800 North State Street, Suite 201
Dover, DE 19901
FAX: 302.674.5399

What you should include:

full mailing address.
Email contact address

I request that the Mid Atlantic Council move to develop two additional options to the summer flounder draft amendment. One: to negotiate new state quota shares of summer flounder, and Two: to include coastwise quota and management of summer flounder.



The motion above was the motion made at the MAFMC in April 2018 by Steve Heins-NY; with a second by Lori Nolan-NY (Page 29). Motion failed (Page 32).

The ASMFC Motion was made by Emerson Hasbrouck; seconded by Matt Gates (Page 29). Motion carried (Page 31).

Note: It passed the Commission but was shot down by the Council. Even Mike Pentony of GARFO supported it. As such, without agreement, it could not go forward.

The point of the Google form comments, or individual email comments, is to get a LOT of New Yorkers requesting that the Council develop those two additional options which might give NY a chance to get its fair share of quota. Without it, we will not be treated fairly. No guarantee actually that we will get these approved by the council, but we need to at the very least get them put back into the amendment.

From the MAFMC website:

Following public hearings, written and oral comments will be compiled and provided to the Council and Board for review. These comments will be considered prior to taking final action on the amendment, which is tentatively scheduled for December 2018. The Council’s recommendations are not final until they are approved or partially approved by the Secretary of Commerce through the National Marine Fisheries Service, so the timing of full implementation of this action will depend on the federal rulemaking timeline. This rulemaking process is expected to occur in 2019, with revised measures possibly effective at the start of the 2020 fishing year.

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) are soliciting public input on a draft amendment to address several potential changes to the management of the commercial summer flounder fishery, as well as modifications to the fishery management plan (FMP) goals and objectives for summer flounder. Written comments will be accepted through October 12, 2018.

The specific issues under consideration in this amendment include:

1. Requalifying criteria for federal commercial moratorium permits to address latent effort in the fishery: The amendment includes options to reduce the number of eligible commercial federal moratorium permits by implementing requalifying criteria for existing permits.

2. Modifying commercial quota allocation: The amendment proposes several options for revising the current commercial allocation to the states, which has been in place since 1993 and is based on average landings from 1980-1989.

3. Adding commercial landings flexibility as a framework issue in the Council’s FMP: This action does not consider implementing landings flexibility policies at this time but considers allowing the Council to implement landings flexibility through a future framework action instead of an amendment. The Commission’s adaptive management process already allows for landings flexibility.

4. Revising the FMP objectives for summer flounder: This amendment proposes revisions to the current FMP objectives for summer flounder management to provide more meaningful and up-to-date guidance to managers.

Thank you. Any questions, call me tomorrow 516-527-3099




NY’s 2016 Recreational Black Sea Bass Regulations

NY Black Sea Bass Memo – 2-2016


  • TO: Marine Recreational Fishing Public
  • FROM: John Maniscalco
  • RE: NY’s 2016 Recreational Black Sea Bass Regulations
  • DATE: February 18, 2016

ISSUE: Black sea bass recreational harvest has exceeded 2015 limits in the northern region. New York (along with all states from Massachusetts to New Jersey) is required to develop more restrictive rules governing recreational black sea bass fishing in order to restrain harvest to the 2016 limits. The required reduction is estimated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to be 23.2%. Preliminary MRIP Wave 6 data became fully available on February 18, 2016.

The purpose of this memo is to provide interested and involved constituents with some idea of what the required reduction could look like in terms of regulatory adjustments so that they can consider the matter and provide the Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR) with feedback.

Compliance with the minimum size limit in 2015 was poor and changes to the minimum size will not be considered for 2016. All options in the table below include a 14.0” minimum size.

As was done last year, interested parties can request additional options by email ( or phone (631-444-0437). All constructive and productive suggestions will be considered to the best of my ability and the limitations of the data. The goal is to generate a list of options that meet the required 23.2% reduction by March 1, 2016 that can be used by both NY’s Marine Resource Advisory Council (MRAC) and the BMR. MRAC is next scheduled to meet on March 22 at 7:00PM at the DEC Offices.

***For additional consideration, a regional option is currently being considered by Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. Would the NY Public support the following 2016 regional measure? 14.0” minimum size, 3 fish from July 23-August 31 and 5 fish from Sept. 1-Dec. 31

New York State Fluke (Summer Flounder) Allocation

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.

NOAA Fisheries Report on Damages to New York & New Jersey Commercial and Recreational Fisheries from Super Storm Sandy

The National Marine Fisheries Service has released a report estimating the economic losses to the marine commercial and recreational fisheries sectors in New York and New Jersey from Super Storm Sandy. The findings of the report, along with surveys conducted by both states and New York Sea Grant, will inform the plans developed by the two States to provide disaster relief funding to the fisheries sector. Go here for the NMFS report.

Survey of Marine Damage from Super Storm Sandy

The New York Sea Grant program has been working with the marina industry in New York to compile information on the financial losses to the industry attributable to Super Storm Sandy. This information will feed into State decisions on economic relief programs targeted at losses from this storm. Marine owners/operators are encouraged to participate in this voluntary survey, which is completely confidential. Here are two links about the project:

NYSG Marina Economic Loss Questionnaire

“Super Storm” Sandy Economic Injury Loss Questionnaire / Worksheet

Getting Information on Marine Fishery & Marine Fishery-related Bills & Laws in New York

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.