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For Release: Friday, July 20, 2018

DEC Announces Public Information Sessions to Modernize and Reform State's Commercial Fishing Licensing System

Multiple Public Meetings Planned at Venues in Marine and Coastal District

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that the agency is holding a series of meetings across the State's Marine and Coastal District in July and August to gather feedback from key stakeholders about the State's current commercial fishing licensing system and ideas for reforms to modernize and improve the program. In March 2018, DEC retained the services of an expert marine fisheries consultant, George LaPointe, who will facilitate the meetings.

Commissioner Seggos said, "To better meet the needs of New York's commercial fishing community, DEC is holding these public information sessions to capture perspectives, opinions, and feedback from licensed commercial fishermen and other key stakeholders. These meetings, led by expert marine fisheries consultant George LaPointe, will offer the opportunity for commercial fishers and stakeholders to ask questions and provide insights on the current licensing system, information that will help us modernize and improve it."

DEC's Division of Marine Resources engaged LaPointe, a marine fisheries consultant well-versed in current marine fisheries issues, to review and provide feedback on the State's current management of the licensing of commercial marine fishermen in New York. Lapointe is a former Commissioner of the Maine Department of Natural Resources. Lapointe's experience in managing state fisheries and licensing will enable him to capture the diverse views and needs of New York's commercial fishing industry.

A list of the topics that will be addressed during this project include:

  • Specifying qualifications for license issuance
  • License transferability
  • Identifying means of entry for new participants in New York's fisheries
  • Apprenticeship
  • Resolution of the latent licenses issue

New York's current licensing system has evolved over the past 30 years in response to changing fish populations in State waters. As fish populations continued to fluctuate and fishery management strategies change, additional permits were established and regulations grew more complex. The marine fisheries consultant will analyze and evaluate the current marine commercial licensing system and provide recommendations on how to improve and revise it.

The public meetings, led by the marine fisheries consultant, will offer the opportunity for commercial fishermen and stakeholders to ask questions and provide their insight on the current licensing system. Currently scheduled meetings include:

Monday, July 30, 6:30 PM
Kingsborough County College
Room M239, Marine Building (Lighthouse Building)
2001 Oriental Boulevard
Brooklyn New York 11235

Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 6:30 PM
Division of Marine Resources
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
East Setauket, New York 11737

Wednesday, August 1, 2018, 6:30 PM
Operation Splash
202 Woodcleft Avenue
Freeport, New York 11520

Thursday, August 2, 2018, 6:00 PM
Southampton Town Hall (first floor)
116 Hampton Road
Southampton, New York 11968

Monday, August 20, 2019, 6:00 PM
Staten Island Borough Hall
10 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, New York 10301

Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 6:00 PM
Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center
3690 Cedar Beach Road
Southold, New York 11971

For an updated list of meeting notices, including Montauk, visit DEC's website.

DEC will accept comments on the Marine Commercial Licensing System until September 15, 2018. Comments can be submitted by email to with subject line "GLP Permits," or by mail to Maureen Davidson, NYSDEC, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite #1, East Setauket, New York 11733.

The meetings are accessible to people with language differences and/or disabilities. A person who needs an interpretive or disability-related accommodation or modification to participate in the meeting may make a request by contacting Maureen Davidson at (631) 444-0483 or sending a written request to Maureen Davidson, NYSDEC, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite #1, East Setauket, New York 11733. Providing your request at least five business days before the meeting will help ensure availability of the requested accommodation.

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