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Marine Fisheries Issues

Upcoming Public Hearings

Smooth Dogfish Draft Addendum IV Hearing

June 28, 2016 at 6:30pm
NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources Headquarters
205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
East Setauket, NY 11733
Contact: Steve Heins, (631) 444-0435

The purpose of the Draft Addendum IV is to maintain consistency between federal and state Fishery Management Plans (FMPs), where possible, and to better incorporate the intent of the smooth dogfish limited exception in the Shark Conservation Act of 2010 (SCA) into state regulations. The Draft Addendum proposes to amend the FMP to allow smooth dogfish carcasses to be landed with corresponding fins removed from the carcass as long as the total retained catch, by weight, is composed of at least 25 percent smooth dogfish.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum IV (leaves DEC's website) by attending the public meeting or by providing written comment.

Atlantic Menhaden Draft Addendum I Hearing

June 29, 2016 at 6:30pm
NYSDEC Division of Marine Resources Headquarters
205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
East Setauket, NY 11733
Contact: Jim Gilmore, (631) 444-0430

The Draft Addendum I proposes modifying the Fishery Management Plan's (FMP's) bycatch allowance provision. Specifically, it considers allowing two licensed individuals to harvest up to 12,000 pounds of menhaden bycatch when working from the same vessel fishing stationary, multi‐species gear ‐ limited to one vessel trip per day. Bycatch represents less than 2% of the total coastwide landings.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum I (leaves DEC's website) by attending the public meeting or by providing written comment.

Superstorm Sandy Fisheries Disaster Relief Grant Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery will award up to $3.6 million in grants for Superstorm Sandy disaster relief. The program will reimburse sectors of New York's fishing industry that suffered a loss of revenue due to the storm.

For additional information, visit the NYSDEC Superstorm Sandy Fishery Disaster Grant webpage or contact DEC at (518) 402-8044 or FisheryGrant@dec.ny.gov . You can also contact the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery at 1-855-NYS-SANDY (1-855-697-7263) or info@stormrecovery.ny.gov.

Federal Regulations for Food Fish and Crustacea Dealers & Shippers Who Purchase Shark Species

Any dealer who purchases shark species directly from commercial harvesters must have a federal Commercial Shark Dealer permit. Beginning January 1, 2016, this requirement includes the purchase of smooth dogfish. An application for a federal Shark Dealer Permit can be downloaded by selecting application #9 on the NOAA website (link leaves DEC website).

Whelk, Horseshoe Crab, and Crab Rule Makings in Development

DEC is currently preparing to propose a rule making that will change the regulations for whelk, horseshoe crabs, and crabs. This multi-species rule making, an omnibus rule making, may affect many licensed fishermen. Before proceeding with the rule making, DEC will first provide information describing the need for these new regulations and what the regulations will do.

In the column to the right, under Important Links, there is a scoping document which provides more detailed information abut the need for these changes to the regulations.

Whelks

whelks for sale in the Fulton Fish Market
These channeled whelk were available for
sale at the Fulton Fish Market.

1. Whelk Reporting. DEC is proposing that all whelk permit holders submit trip reports detailing all species landed and other fishing activities. Harvest reporting is necessary to determine the impact of the fishery on the whelk population. Fishing effort on whelk has increased due to increased market value and the decline of the Southern New England lobster population. In 2012, whelk was the tenth most valuable fishery in New York. It is critical for the maintenance of a sustainable whelk fishery that DEC collects and processes complete whelk landings information.

2. Whelk Minimum Size. DEC is proposing a minimum size limit of 5-1/2 inch length or 3 inch width on the harvest of channeled and knobbed whelks. Channeled and knobbed whelks are long lived and slow to mature. Currently there is no minimum size limit on whelks to prevent the harvest of immature animals. Local channel whelk have been collected and examined. The data collected indicate that female whelks do not begin to mature until they are 5-1/2 to 6 inches in length (or 3 to 3.3 inches in width).

Horseshoe Crabs

horseshoe crab native to New York waters
Horseshoe crabs native to New York may be
impacted by the introduction of the Asian horseshoe
crab into local waters.

Asian horseshoe crabs. DEC is proposing to prohibit the importation, possession and use of Asian horseshoe crabs as bait. Asian horseshoe crabs have been imported for use as bait and there is concern about the possible introduction of pathogens and invasive species that could impact New York's native horseshoe crab population and other native species. In addition, there is concern about the use of horseshoe crabs that could have the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX). The potential for TTX accumulating in the body tissues of local whelks and American eels and any subsequent threat to human health have not been determined yet.

Crabs and Terrapins

crab trap with two terrapin exclusion devices
This crab trap has two terrapin exclusion
devices to prevent terrapin from entering the
trap, becoming unable to escape, and
drowning.

Terrapin excluder device. DEC is proposing to require the use of terrapin excluder devices on crab traps set in New York's estuaries in the Marine District. Terrapin excluder device is a rectangular device which decreases the opening of the entrance to crab traps and makes it more difficult for terrapin to enter the traps looking for food, thus preventing their drowning.

Crustaceans

Release of live out-of-state crustaceans. DEC proposes to prohibit the release of any live crustaceans that were not harvested from New York's waters. Crustaceans harvested in other areas are often marketed live in New York and are sometimes intentionally released into New York's waters. These animals may harbor pathogens not native to our local stock or carry other hitchhiker organisms which may become invasive in our waters. In addition, any introduced non-indigenous species may be ecologically harmful to our local marine communities. Public Hearing on ASMFC Tautog Public Information Document: September 28, 2015

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is seeking public input and comments on the Tautog Public Information Document for development of Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Tautog. There will be a public hearing at the NYSDEC Bureau of Marine Resources, 205 North Belle Mead Road in East Setauket, NY on September 28, 2015 from 6pm to 8pm. Public comments will be accepted until 5pm EST on October 23, 2015.

Public Hearing on ASMFC Tautog Public Information Document: September 28, 2015.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is seeking public input and comments on the Tautog Public Information Document for development of Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Tautog. There will be a public hearing at the NYSDEC Bureau of Marine Resources, 205 North Belle Mead Road in East Setauket, NY on September 28, 2015 from 6pm to 8pm. Public comments will be accepted until 5pm EST on October 23, 2015.