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Notice of Proposed Adjustment to Surfclam Harvest Limit

Pursuant to Environmental Conservation Law Sections 13-0308 and 13-0309, and 43-2.6 of Title 6 of the New York Codes Rules and Regulations, the Department of Environmental Conservation gives notice of the following:

The Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing to adjust the maximum quantity of surfclams (Spisula solidissima) that may be taken from New York State waters of the Atlantic Ocean in a calendar year. In 2003, the annual maximum quantity of surfclams that may be taken from the Atlantic Ocean is 500,000 industry bushels (1 industry bushel=1.88 cubic feet). The Department conducted a surfclam population assessment survey in the Atlantic Ocean in 2002. The results of that survey indicate a biomass estimate of 18.6 million industry bushels. A reasonable allowable harvest is approximately 5% to 10% of the estimated biomass. The Department proposes to allow the harvest of up to 930,000 industry bushels of surfclams from the New York's ocean waters in 2004, representing a maximum harvest of up to 5% of the estimated standing stock. This increase in the annual harvest limit is supported by the Surfclam/Ocean Quahog Management Advisory Board, a group of individuals appointed to advise the Department on surfclam management issues.

The Department invites comments from the public concerning the proposed surfclam harvest limit adjustment. To submit your comments or for further information contact Maureen Davidson, Bureau of Marine Resources, NYSDEC, 205 North Belle Mead Road, East Setauket, NY 11733, email: mcdavids@gw.dec.state.ny.us The deadline for submission of comments is October 24, 2003.