Rep. Zeldin and Fishermen Call on NY to Enter Non-Compliance re NY’s Unfair Black Sea Bass Quota
PATCHOGUE, N.Y. - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) was joined by Assemblyman Dean Murray, small business owners, local fishermen and other stakeholders at Mascot Dock & Marina in Patchogue, to call for the State of New York to take an aggressive stand against an unfair decision by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) for black sea bass allocation, which would cut New York’s quota by 12% (even though the black sea bass stock has rebounded and is currently 240% above target biomass), while increasing that of neighboring states. By issuing its own set of regulations for black sea bass fishing this season and entering into non-compliance, the State of New York can take a stand against the unfair and inequitable decision of the ASMFC that will further hurt New York’s already struggling anglers.
Long Island’s largest one day fishing event also took place on Sunday at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, bringing together fishermen and stakeholders of Long Island’s maritime economy from across the island. After so many men and women who rely on the coastal economy gathered on Sunday, it is essential that leaders at all levels of government band together to stand against unfair and inequitable regulations mandated by the ASMFC.
“Going into non-compliance is never the first option, but it may be the only one in taking a stand for New York anglers who year after year continue to get screwed,” Congressman Zeldin said. “With the vast majority of Long Island fishing taking place in waters shared with New Jersey and Connecticut, such as the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, it is unfair that New York anglers are, once again, being penalized with smaller fishing quotas than neighboring states. Two boats fishing next to each other with one allowed to catch up to double the amount of the other because they are landing the fish in New Jersey instead of New York is ridiculous and inequitable.”
“Tri-state parity is so important, and New York needs to take an immediate stand against the unfair black sea bass allocation and set its own fair and equitable quota and going into what is formally known as ‘non-compliance’,” concluded Zeldin. “For my constituents, who are both fishermen and small business owners trying to attract customers, cutting New York off from its fair share while allowing New Jersey’s allocation to grow, is unacceptable.”
New York State Assemblyman Dean Murray said, “It's time that we join together (regardless of party affiliation) to fight back against unfair restrictions and over-regulation of Long Island's fishing industry. I'm proud to stand with U.S. Congressman Lee Zeldin and those in the fishing community to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo and others to join the fight in pushing back against what we believe is an unfair and uncalled for reduction in the Black Sea Bass limits."
Captain Joe Tangel of Center Moriches, NY said, “The people of the marine district of NY will not accept or endorse any options with a cut to our sea bass regulations in 2018. If nothing can be worked out with the Atlantic States Marine Fish Commission, we demand that our state goes out of compliance, and take the case all the way to the Secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross. The time is now for the state, it's stakeholders, and our representatives to take a stand.”
Captain James Schneider of Huntington, NY said, “The hard working recreational fishing community is rallied together today in an attempt to keep NY anglers on par with its neighboring states. The Sea Bass stocks are extremely healthy, with its biomass at 240% of target. This is a valuable resource for all the citizens to utilize, just like the corn in Iowa, and oil in Alaska. Thank you Congressman Zeldin for all of your support.”