Department of Environmental Conservation

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Marine Resources Councils and Boards

DEC participates in marine fishery councils, boards, and a commission that in with cooperation of fishermen, other states, management agencies and the federal government.

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Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC)

The Marine Resources Advisory Council (MRAC) was established by state law in 1987 to review proposed regulations for management of marine fisheries and to make recommendations on plans, policies, and programs affecting marine fisheries and on other issues affecting he protection and utilization of New York's valuable finfish and shellfish resources.

The Council's membership consists of fifteen members: seven representatives from both the state's commercial and recreational fishing industries, and the Dean of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS), (formerly the Marine Sciences Research Center, MSRC) at Stony Brook University, or his designee, as chair. The Council is presently chaired by Dr. Michael Frisk, Director of the Living Marine Resources Institute. Members serve for three years.


MRAC meets 6 to 8 times per year, usually at the Division of Marine Resources headquarters. The meetings are open to the public, and members of the public may address the Council on marine resources issues.

2023 Tentative Schedule

  • July 18 - 6:00 PM (CANCELED)
  • September 12 - 2:00 PM
  • November 14 - 2:00 PM

The Advisory Council's Bulletins, which summarize actions taken at each meeting, are available to the public at the Marine Advisory Council's web site (leaves DEC website).

Cooperative Interstate Fishery Management

Many marine species managed by DEC migrate along the eastern seaboard and are found in marine waters of other Atlantic Coast states and in federal waters (Federal waters are from 3 miles to 200 miles offshore). For these species, the conservation and management of the species are shared among the states and federal agencies. New York State is an active member of two of the principal institutions that provide cooperative management of marine species on the Atlantic Coast, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

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The Atlantic coast states ratified the compact establishing the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) (leaves DEC website) in 1942. The states recognized the necessity of cooperatively managing their shared migratory fishery resources and promoting and protecting Atlantic coastal fishery resources found within the states' jurisdictional marine waters (within 3 miles of shore). ASMFC is made up of the 14 Atlantic coast states, Maine to Florida, and Pennsylvania, and develops and implements interstate fishery management plans that govern the conservation and recreational and commercial use of these shared fisheries. Some of the 27 species managed by ASMFC include American eel, American lobster, Atlantic herring, Atlantic sturgeon, black sea bass, horseshoe crabs, menhaden, shad and river herring, striped bass, summer flounder and weakfish.

On May 2, 2023, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved an emergency action (PDF) to implement a 31-inch maximum size limit for striped bass recreational fisheries. The emergency action was taken as a result of the 40% increase in recreational removals between 2021 and 2022. ASMFC's rebuilding plan seeks to rebuild the striped bass stock by 2029 and updated projections show that the probability of rebuilding the stock by 2029 dropped from 97.5% to 15%. The ASMFC Striped Bass Technical Committee describes the decline in probability of reaching the rebuilding target as a result of increased recreational removals, driving increased fishing mortality rates and lowering the rebuilding probability.

ASMFC will host virtual public hearings (PDF) to inform the public about this emergency action and identify the next steps for management, the first of which occurred on May 17. Register online for an upcoming virtual hearings listed below.

  • Monday, May 22, 6:00-8:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 23, 5:00-7:00 pm
  • Wednesday, May 31, 6:00-8:00 pm

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council


The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) (leaves DEC website) is one of eight regional councils responsible for the conservation and management of fisheries in federal waters. The member states of MAFMC are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina. MAFMC develops management plans and management measures for marine fisheries found within its specific region. Two other regional councils for the neighboring areas of the Atlantic Ocean are the New England Fishery Management Council to the north and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to the south. Some of the species managed by the Mid-Atlantic Council include Atlantic mackerel, long-finned squid, short-finned squid, butterfish, bluefish, spiny dogfish, Atlantic surf clams, ocean quahogs, summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, tilefish, and monkfish. Some fisheries are managed jointly by ASMFC and MAFMC.

Cooperative Fishery Management

ASMFC and MAFMC work cooperatively to develop management measures for fishery resources that are found in both state jurisdictional waters and federal waters. The Atlantic coast states, ASMFC, and MAFMC all work and collaborate with NOAA Fisheries (leaves DEC website) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (leaves DEC website).