Department of Environmental Conservation

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Marine Resources Councils and Boards

The marine and fishery councils and boards that DEC participates 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 law in 1987 to advise the DEC on marine resources issues, such as commercial and recreational fishing, proposed regulations and the protection and utilization of New York's valuable marine resources.

Responsibilities & Duties

  • Review the allocations and expenditures of the DEC for the care, management, protection and enlargement of marine resources, and report the findings of such review to the DEC Commissioner annually by the first of the year.
  • Issue reports and information regarding DEC's marine resources program to commercial and recreational harvesters.
  • Consult with commercial and recreational harvesters to develop recommendations regarding marine resources program needs.
  • Review proposed regulations for marine fisheries and make formal recommendations to the DEC regarding adoption or revision of such regulations.

Council Members

The Council's membership is defined by law as consisting 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 SUNY Stony Brook, 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 at 205 N. Belle Mead Rd, East Setauket, New York 11733. The meetings are open to the public, and members of the public may address the Advisory Council on marine resources issues.

The next meeting will be held virtually using WebEx on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 2:00 pm.

Follow the instructions below to register for the virtual meeting:

  1. Click on March 2021 MRAC Meeting (leaves DEC website)
  2. Enter your name and email address
  3. If required, enter meeting password MRAC0321
  4. Click "Register"

Alternatively, you can dial into the meeting by calling (518) 549-0500 and entering Meeting ID # 185 590 3381.

Visit DEC's Public Participation website for additional information on how to participate in DEC virtual meetings.

2021 Tentative Schedule

  • April 20
  • May 18
  • July 20 - Evening Meeting
  • September 14
  • November 16

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 Fishery Management: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Many marine species managed by DEC migrate along the eastern seaboard and may be present in the marine waters of several Atlantic Coast states. For these species, data collection and management responsibility are shared among the states and the federal agencies, such as the National Marine Fisheries Service. Two of the principal institutions that accomplish the cooperative management among states and the federal government are the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC or the Commission) and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC). New York State is an active member of both these organizations.

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ASMFC is made up of the 15 Atlantic coast states, from Maine to Florida and including Pennsylvania. The Commission coordinates the conservation and management of inshore fishery species and promotes responsible utilization of marine fishery resources within the states' jurisdictional waters. Some of the species managed by ASMFC include American eel, American lobster, Atlantic herring, Atlantic sturgeon, black sea bass, horseshoe crabs, shade and river herring, striped bass, summer flounder and weakfish. ASMFC develops and implements interstate fishery management plans that govern the conservation and recreational and commercial use of these important fisheries.


The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council is responsible for the conservation and utilization of fisheries in federal waters off the mid-Atlantic coast. The states on the Council are New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and North Carolina. There are two other regional councils for the neighboring areas of the Atlantic Ocean: the New England Fishery Management Council to the north and the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to the south. Some of the species manage by the Mid-Atlantic Council include Atlantic mackerel, long-finned squid, short-finned squid, butterfish, bluefish, spiny dogfish, surfclams and ocean quahogs, summer flounder, scup and black sea bass, tilefish and monkfish. Note that some species are managed cooperatively by both ASMFC and the Mid-Atlantic Council.

Information on each of these institutions' responsibilities and duties, member representatives, and upcoming meetings click on the links in the right hand column of this page to visit either the ASMFC or MAFMC website.