Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Part 10, Part 19 & Part 40 - Striped Bass Circle Hooks - RIS

Regulatory Impact Statement

1. Statutory authority:

Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) § 13-0105 directs that it shall be "the policy of the state that the primary principle in managing the state's marine fishery resource is to maintain the long-term health and abundance of marine fisheries resources and their habitats, and to ensure that [fisheries] are sustained in usable abundance and diversity for future generations." The legislature further directed that "the management of the state's transboundary and migratory species shall be consistent with [all] interjurisdictional management plans, interstate or state-federal."

ECL §§ 11-0303 and 13-0339 authorize DEC to adopt regulations governing Atlantic striped bass including: size limits, catch and possession limits, open and closed seasons, closed areas, restrictions on the manner of taking and landing, and other management measures.

ECL §§ 11-1521 and 13-0347 establish additional provisions for striped bass management in the Hudson River and marine waters, respectively.

2. Legislative objectives:

It is the objective of the above-cited legislation that DEC manages marine fisheries to optimize resource use for fishermen in a manner that is consistent with federal marine fisheries conservation and management policies including all applicable interstate fishery management plans. The proposed rule would ensure that New York State maintains compliance and consistency with requirements of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Striped Bass.

3. Needs and benefits:

The proposed new management measures are required by Addendum VI to Amendment 6 of ASMFC's FMP for Atlantic Striped Bass, and are designed to reduce the recreational discard

mortality of Atlantic striped bass. The proposed rule would amend 6 NYCRR Parts 10, 19, and 40 to ensure that New York State maintains compliance with the requirements of ASMFC's FMP for Atlantic Striped Bass. Failure to maintain compliance with ASMFC's FMP for Atlantic Striped Bass may result in the federal closure of New York State's Atlantic striped bass fishery. FMPs are designed to promote the long-term sustainability of managed marine species, preserve states' marine resources, and protect the interests of both commercial harvesters and recreational anglers. Additionally, failure to adopt these regulations would result in population declines for critical Atlantic striped bass fishery stock.

4. Costs:

The proposed rule would not impose any costs to DEC or local municipalities. Tackle and sporting goods stores may incur costs associated with shifting demand for non-offset circle hooks. Recreational fishermen may need to purchase circle hooks if they do not already use them. An internet search conducted on September 28, 2020 indicated that the average retail price for a non-offset circle hook is 75 cents per hook, and the average wholesale price is 15 cents per hook.

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:

"No action" alternative: Under this alternative, New York State would not amend 6 NYCRR Parts 10, 19, and 40. This alternative was rejected because of New York State's obligations to comply with

ASMFC's FMP for Atlantic Striped bass. Failure to adopt the proposed regulations will result in further declines to critical fishery stock and the potential federal closure of New York State's Atlantic striped bass fishery.

"Exemptions for specific bait and tackle types" alternative: This alternative was rejected because t at the October 20, 2020 meeting of ASMFC's Striped Bass Management Board, a motion was passed that prohibited any such exemptions. To avoid potential fishery closure, New York State must comply with the FMP and therefore did not include exemptions in the proposed rule.

9. Federal standards:

The amendments to 6 NYCRR Parts 10, 19, and 40 are in compliance with Addendum VI to Amendment 6 of ASMFC's FMP for Atlantic Striped Bass.

10. Compliance schedule:

Compliance with the proposed regulation would be required upon the effective date of the rule.

The public would be notified of the changes to the regulations through publication in the State Register, through appropriate news releases, and through DEC's website. Regulatory Impact Statement