Rep. Zeldin Slams ASMFC Black Sea Bass Allocation, Calls for Equitable Fishing Quotas
PATCHOGUE, NY - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) issued the following statement following the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) proposed allocation for black sea bass for the 2018 season, which would unfairly cut New York State’s share by up to 12%, while other states will see their allocations grow:
“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. For my constituents, who are both fishermen and small business owners trying to attract customers, the ASFMC’s decision to, once again, cut New York off from its fair share while allowing New Jersey’s allocation to grow, is unacceptable. 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.
“That is why, when it comes to fishing quotas, tri-state parity is so important. At the state level, New York’s representatives must fight more aggressively within these regional bodies to advocate for New York’s anglers who rely on fishing as a way of life that supports so much of our local economy. If our state representatives on the ASMFC-- who supported this terrible proposal and failed to fully advocate for New York-- aren’t willing to fight for our anglers, then they should step aside.
“I call on all levels of government in our state to work together as one team to fight this unfair allocation and, if necessary, appeal this all the way to the Secretary of Commerce. 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.”
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is a regional body that oversees fishing on the eastern seaboard of the United States. The council is comprised of representatives of each state in the region, Maine to Florida, and issues fishing allocations for various species including black sea bass, fluke and scup. These allocations, which are calculated and approved by the commission and are subject to ratification by the Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the federal agency with federal oversight over fishing in federal waters, determine the amount of fish anglers in each state can catch each season. Those allocations are then taken up by each state agency, in the case of New York, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) then turns these allocations into a seasonal quota. The state has authority to determine season length, daily quotas and size limits for each species.