Albany, NY - June 28, 2016 - New York's commercial fishery for black sea bass will reopen on Friday, July 1, as scheduled, providing a three-week harvest period for commercial fishermen, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC explored the potential to re-open the fishery earlier, but fish dealer reports from May found the remaining quota was only approximately 1,000 pounds, a quantity that would be met within half a day.

The federal government's annual commercial landings limits are based on reported harvests and population data. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is responsible for ensuring that states manage those limits based on quotas to them. In 2016, DEC's Division of Marine Resources and commercial fishermen determined the 2016 commercial year open dates. DEC continues to work closely with commercial anglers to expand black sea bass harvest opportunities, and also has called for a revised, more equitable federal management strategy to improve the fishery.

"We are constantly striving to provide a healthy and robust fishery to support commercial anglers, while maintaining sound fish management practices," DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "We look forward to a productive season as we continue to seek federal regulatory changes that will create additional and equitable opportunities for our state's commercial fishermen."

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