Issues and events that shape Long Island's economic and legislative landscape.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Letter to the ASMFC on fluke fishing restrictions

Paul J. Diodati
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 200 A-N
Arlington, VA 22201

Dear Chairman Diodati:

The Long Island Association, which is the leading business organization of the region, urges you to ease restrictions on fluke fishing to provide critical relief to Long Island's recreational fishing  community.

As you know, fish do not recognize state borders.  Yet even though the most vigorous fisheries are in the waters off of New York, our fishermen currently receive only a fraction of the total federal fluke limit while states such as North Carolina and Virginia, and even border states like New Jersey and Connecticut have been allocated more.  This imbalance drives fishermen to neighboring states or causes them to shutdown business completely.  It is a disadvantage that has already damaged the fishing industry on Long Island and the unreasonable continuation of these antiquated and disparate federal mandates would be devastating to an industry that already faces extremely difficult times.  

As you meet with federal regulators this week, we urge you to achieve fluke quote parity based on science and fairness.  Long Islanders should not be forced to keep fewer and larger fish compared to other states.  An agreement needs to be immediately reached that would allow New York anglers to catch more fluke this year while a regional management system that could remedy the quota system over the long term.  

The fishing industry is a significant part of Long Island's economy and heritage.  While it is imperative to protect the marine environment, it must be done in a sensible and fair manner.  Federal regulations are hamstringing our fishermen and stunting our already struggling economy.  The appropriate readjustment of federal rules would be a welcome and deserved relief to Long Island's fluke fishermen and a sorely needed boost for the economy. If I can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to call me at (631)493-3001. Thank you.

Kevin S. Law
President and CEO
Long Island Association

cc:   Senator Chuck Schumer
        ASMFC Commissioners (NY) JamesGilmore, Jr. and Pat Augustine
        ASMFC Commissioners