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Part 40 Section 13-0333 - Marine Fish - The Management of Menhaden - Regulatory Impact Statement

Regulatory Impact Statement

1. Statutory authority:

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) section 11-0333 authorize the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to adopt regulations to prohibit or further limit menhaden fishing when required by, and consistent with, the Interstate fishery management plan for Atlantic menhaden.

2. Legislative objectives:

It is the objective of the above-cited legislation that DEC manages marine fisheries in such a way as to protect these natural resources for their intrinsic value to the marine ecosystem and to optimize resource use for commercial and recreational harvesters through the implementation of sound management practices that remain compliant with marine fisheries conservation and management policies and interstate fishery management plans.

3. Needs and benefits:

This rule making is necessary to correct a technical error and previous oversight, which failed to include menhaden in Table B when the regulatory authority to establish trip limits under subparagraph 40.1(x)(2)(iii) was implemented.This subparagraph, which deals with quota harvest and trip limits for menhaden, specifically refers to Table B, but menhaden is not included in that table. The proposed amendment will maintain compliance with the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Failure to adopt this regulatory amendment will result in a continuing discordance between subdivisions 40.1(i) and 40.1(x). The reference in subparagraph 40.1(x)(2)(iii) to subdivision 40.1(i) would remain meaningless and may allow for confusion on the part of commercial fishermen targeting menhaden. Menhaden also already appears in Table A - Recreational Fishing. For consistency, the commercial management measures should be included in Table B.

4. Costs:

The proposed rule does not impose any costs to the department, local municipalities, or the regulated public.

5. Local government mandates:

The proposed rule does not impose any mandates on local governments.

6. Paperwork:

None.

7. Duplication:

The proposed amendment does not duplicate any state or federal requirement.

8. Alternatives:

1. "No action" alternative: Under this alternative New York State would not amend 6 NYCRR Section 40.1 Marine Fish. This alternative was rejected because would result in a continuing discordance between subdivisions 40.1(i) and 40.1(x). The reference to subdivision 40.1(i) in subparagraph 40.1(x)(2)(iii) would remain meaningless and may allow for confusion on the part of commercial fishermen targeting menhaden.

2. Remove the phrase "as provided in Table B of subdivision (i)" from subparagraph 40.1(x)(2)(iii): Under this alternative New York State would amend 6 NYCRR subdivision 40.1(x) and remove the phrase "as provided in Table B of subdivision (i)" rather than incorporating menhaden into Table B of subdivision 40.1(i). This alternative was rejected because it would undermine the usefulness of Table B as a reference guide to commercial fisheries season, length and trip limit information. Menhaden also already appears in Table A - Recreational Fishing. For consistency, the commercial management measures should be included in Table B.

9. Federal standards:

The proposed amendment to 6 NYCRR 40.1 is in compliance with the ASMFC and Regional Fishery Management Council FMPs for Atlantic menhaden.

10. Compliance schedule:

The proposed amendment will not require any action or compliance changes for the regulated public. The proposed regulations will take effect upon filing with the Department of State after the 45-day public comment period.

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    NYSDEC
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