Albany, NY - June 1, 2016 - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos continues to call on the federal government to improve management of the black sea bass fishery in the region. In a letter to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on May 17th, DEC urged the federal government to expedite a new stock assessment for black sea bass and implement other modifications to improve regulation.
"The increasingly restrictive measures demanded of Northeastern states are inequitable and cause great socioeconomic harm to our anglers and related businesses," Seggos said. "The ASMFC and NOAA must revise their management strategy and not keep New York and the Northeast commercial anglers at a competitive disadvantage while the black sea bass population continues to grow."
Pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Act, black sea bass is managed jointly by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council with decisions for final annual coast wide quotas set under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries program. To implement these federal restrictions, New York's commercial black sea bass quota is distributed into annual period allocations that were created in consultation with commercial fishermen, and include specific times of year the fishery will be closed to ensure New York stays within its allotment. Commercial anglers in consultation with DEC Division of Marine Resources staff had selected the June 1st - July 1st closure during development of the 2016 commercial fishing regulations.