Aiming to correct imbalances, Emerson C. Hasbrouck, senior educator of Cornell Cooperative Extension's Marine Program, testified before the U.S. Senate that the federal quotas on harvesting summer flounder - also called fluke - puts New York's commercial fishermen at a disadvantage when compared with other states.
For summer flounder fishing allocations, several states enjoy expansive shares: Rhode Island, 15.7 percent; New Jersey, 16.7 percent; Virginia, 21.3 percent; and North Carolina, 27.4 percent. New York's fisheries get a mere 7.6 percent share.
In 2011, summer flounder landings in commercial fishery were 16.5 million pounds, or about 94 percent of the commercial quota, reports the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The share discrepancies stem from outdated accounting methods for catches, Hasbrouck says: "The fish did not avoid New York fishermen nor were the New York fishermen any less skilled at catching fish. The basis of the problem and of the inequity in the state-by-state allocation is the system of accounting for commercial fish landings that was in place during the baseline qualifying periods."
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