Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today called on the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) to undertake an immediate reassessment of regulations pertaining to the amount of summer flounder that may be legally caught by commercial or recreational fishermen. New York State is prepared to file suit in order to ensure that New York’s fishermen get a fair deal.
The DOC’s Fisher Management Plan (FMP) sets the amount of fish that may be caught and hauled to shore during a given year. The data used to determine New York’s share of the fishery are incomplete and out of date, which hinders Long Island’s fishermen and diminishes the fishing industry’s competitiveness with neighboring states such as New Jersey that have significantly higher allocations under the FMP. As a result of New York’s lower allocations, the State has been forced to raise size limits as high as 21 inches to comply with FMP requirements, while anglers in neighboring states can catch 17- to 18-inch fluke.
“The commercial and recreational fishing industries are a major economic engine in Long Island and New York State, but they are being unfairly limited by these outdated bureaucratic regulations,” Governor Cuomo said. “The federal formula utilizes decade-old information, putting New York at a disadvantage to neighboring states and ignoring the communities and personal livelihoods of local fishermen who are losing money every day. The U.S. Department of Commerce needs to reform the status quo – and if they don’t, our state will have no choice but to go to court to defend New York’s commercial and recreational fishing industries.”