Marine Resources Councils and Boards
This page describes the marine and fishery councils and boards that DEC participates in with cooperation of fishermen, other states, management agencies and the federal government.
Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC)
The Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC) was established by law in 1987 to advise the DEC on marine resources issues, such as commercial and recreational fishing, proposed regulations and the protection and utilization of New York's valuable marine resources.
Responsibilities & Duties
- Review the allocations and expenditures of the DEC for the care, management, protection and enlargement of marine resources, and report the findings of such review to the DEC Commissioner annually by the first of the year.
- Issue reports and information regarding DEC's marine resources program to commercial and recreational harvesters.
- Consult with commercial and recreational harvesters to develop recommendations regarding marine resources program needs.
- Review proposed regulations for marine fisheries and make formal recommendations to the DEC regarding adoption or revision of such regulations.
The Council's membership is defined by law as consisting of 15 persons: 7 representatives of commercial fisheries, 7 representatives of recreational fisheries, and the Director of the Marine Sciences Research Center (MSRC) at SUNY Stony Brook, or his designee, as chair. The Council is presently chaired by William Wise, Director of the Living Marine Resources Institute to MSRC. Members serve for three years.
MRAC meets 6 to 8 times per year, usually at the Division of Marine Resources headquarters in East Setauket, Long Island. The meetings are open to the public, and members of the public may address the Advisory Council on marine resources issues.
The Advisory Council's meeting schedule and the Council's Bulletins, which summarize actions taken at each meeting, are available to the public at the Marine Advisory Council's web site (link can be found in the right column of this page).
Surfclam/Ocean Quahog Management Advisory Board
The Surfclam/Ocean Quahog Management Advisory Board was established by law in 1994 to improve the management of surf clams (Spisula solidissima) and ocean quahogs (Arctica islandica) found within the marine waters of New York State.
Responsibilities & Duties
- Assist DEC in the development and preparation of a comprehensive long-term management plan for the protection of surfclams and ocean quahogs in New York state waters.
- Serve as a working forum for the review of data collection needs and scientific information and the exchange of views, ideas, information and recommendations about the surfclam and ocean quahog resource and fishery;
- Request and receive from DEC at each board meeting information about the surfclam/ocean quahog resource and fishery, existing and proposed revisions to any regulations or policies relative to surfclams and ocean quahogs;
- Consult with and make reports and release information from time to time as it deems necessary to commercial harvesters of surfclams and ocean quahogs;
- Monitor, assist and advise DEC's efforts to draft, revise and implement regulations consistent with the comprehensive long-term management plan.
This board consists of nine members who are appointed by the commissioner of DEC. The commissioner selects three members from a list of nominees submitted by the president pro tempe of the state senate, three members from a list of nominees submitted by the speaker of the assembly and three members of the commissioner's own choosing. The chair of the board is the director of the Marine Sciences Research Center at Stony Brook University, or a designee of the director's choosing.
Cooperative Fishery Management: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Many marine species managed by DEC migrate along the eastern seaboard and may be present in the marine waters of several Atlantic Coast states. For these species, data collection and management responsibility are shared among the states and the federal agencies, such as the National Marine Fisheries Service. Two of the principal institutions that accomplish the cooperative management among states and the federal government are the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC or the Commission) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC). New York State is an active member of both these organizations.
ASMFC is made up of the 15 Atlantic coast states, from Maine to Florida and including Pennsylvania. The Commission coordinates the conservation and management of inshore fishery species and promotes responsible utilization of marine fishery resources within the states' jurisdictional waters. Some of the species managed by ASMFC include American eel, American lobster, Atlantic herring, Atlantic sturgeon, black sea bass, horseshoe crabs, shade and river herring, striped bass, summer flounder and weakfish. ASMFC develops and implements interstate fishery management plans that govern the the conservation and recreational and commercial use of these important fisheries.
The Mid-Atlantic Fisery Management Council is responsible for the conservation and utilization of fisheries in federal waters off the mid-Atlantic coast. The states on the Council are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina. There are two other regional councils for the neighboring areas of the Atlantic Ocean: the New England Fishery Management Council to the north and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to the south. Some of the species manage by the Mid-Atlantic Councl include Atlantic mackerel, long-finned squid, short-finned squd, butterfish, bluefish, spiny dogfish, surfclams and ocean quahogs, summer flounder, scup and black sea bass, tilefish and monkfish. Note that some species are managed cooperatively by both ASMFC and the Mid-Atlantic Council.
Information on each of these institutions' responsibilities and duties, member representatives, and upcoming meetings click on the links in the right hand column of this page to visit either the ASMFC or MAFMC website.