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Commercial Fishing

Commercial fishing gear and vessels along dock

Commercial fishing and the maritime industry are traditional and important components of New York State's culture and economy. New York State works closely with its stakeholders to protect the sustainability of the commercial fishing industry as well as the living marine resources of New York's marine and coastal district.

For a complete list of New York State commercial fishing licenses, visit Marine Permits and Licenses.

Commercial Harvest Limits

Annual commercial quota allocations for certain commercially harvested species are provided by NOAA Fisheries, and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). As required by fishery management plans (FMPs) and through coordination with the commercial fishing industry, commercial fishing trip limits and quota management plans are developed annually for quota managed species.

Trip limits and fishery status (opened or closed) are updated to manage the allocated quota distribution throughout the fishing year. Check the Commercial Harvest Limits for updated trip limits, fishery status, size limit, and seasons for all managed species of New York's marine and coastal district. Official regulations for all commercially harvested marine fish are located in Part 40 6 NYCRR (leaves DEC website).

For information about New York's commercial lobster, crab and whelk fisheries, please visit Commercial Limits for Lobsters, Crabs and Whelk.

Commercial Landings

A docked commercial fishing boat
Photo Credit: Peter Anderson

New York State Commercial Fishing Landings are assessed using various sources of data including:

  • state and federal dealer reports submitted online to SAFIS,
  • vessel trip reports from federal permit holders submitted to NOAA Fisheries Service
  • vessel trip reports from state permit holders submitted to DEC Division of Marine Resources
  • vessel trip reports from state permit holders submitted online to SAFIS

Data sources: Standard Atlantic Fisheries Information System (SAFIS) (leaves DEC website) operated by the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program (ACCSP), Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office (GARFO) (leaves DEC website) of NOAA Fisheries, and DEC Division of Marine Resources Commercial Fisheries Data Office (DMR) as reported on State Vessel Trip Reports.

This information is provided as a service to New York's fishing community in the interest of transparency and improved communication. The data is provided as is and subject to changes and corrections.

Quota Distribution Plans

New York State develops distribution plans annually for quota managed species based on the allocations received from NOAA Fisheries and ASMFC, review of fishery management plans, and meetings and discussions with the commercial fishing industry. Quota distribution plans are subject to change during the year based on the rate of harvest.

Review the 2023 Quota Distribution Plans (PDF) for commercial black sea bass, bluefish, horseshoe crab, scup and summer flounder harvest allocations.

Special Harvest Programs

Special harvest programs including the Cooperative Multi-State Possession and Landing Program and the Weekly Harvest Programs are established at the discretion of DEC.

  • The Multi-State Program allows New York State Commercial Food Fish and/or Summer Flounder permit holders to possess onboard multiple trip limits for black sea bass and/or summer flounder intended for ports in New York and cooperating states.
  • The Weekly Harvest Program allows New York State Commercial Food Fish and/or Summer Flounder permit holders to land a weekly limit of a particular species in excess of the daily limit during the fishing week.

For additional information on special harvest programs visit our Special Harvest Program webpage.

Interstate Fisheries Management

New York State participates in the cooperative management of fisheries in state and federal waters. The Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission (ASMFC) is made of the 15 Atlantic coast states and coordinates the management of marine and anadromous resources found in states marine waters from 0 to 3 miles from shore. The Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAMFC) is part of a group of regional fishery management councils that manage marine resources found in federal marine waters from 3 to 200 miles from shore. NOAA Fisheries is a branch of the federal government that is dedicated to the conservation and management of the marine resources in our country. NOAA Fisheries works closely with the ASMFC and MAMFC to manage our shared marine resources.

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