Fish Regs Fight Goes Federal

October 20, 2009 at 7:26 pm Leave a comment

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked the U.S. Department of Commerce and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Monday to set up a free, permanent registration process for Long Island’s saltwater anglers so they only have to register once in their lifetime. The current system requires fishermen and women to pay a fee and go through the registration once in October and again each January after that.

“The bottom line is the current system places far too great a burden on Long Island anglers who are already struggling day to day,” Schumer said in a statement. “This is not the time to change the system and impose new fees. While we must ensure that adequate scientific data is available to keep fishing stocks thriving, we can’t do it on the backs of fishermen.”

Under the current system, DEC requires any recreational angler, age 16 or older, fishing in coastal or marine waters including the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound and the Hudson River up to the Tappan Zee Bridge, to obtain a $10 license and register multiple times.

The new rules went into effect at the beginning of this month. But current licenses will expire Dec. 31, meaning anglers will be required to purchase a new license in order to fish in 2010.

Right now, an annual license costs $10, a one-day permit is $4 and a lifetime permit is $150. Most town clerks can sell licenses and some bait shops and sporting-goods stores may sell them. Licenses also may be purchased by phone at 866-933-2257 or online at the DEC’s sporting license sales web page.

DEC set up this system to be in compliance with national environmental reporting standards under the Magnuson Stevens Act, which governs fishing up and down the east coast. But the law does not require that states impose a fee or an annual registration, meaning that the DEC can set up a new system that is free and permanent, so anglers only have to register once in their lifetime, and the state will still be in compliance, according to Schumer. Delaware and New Jersey have already devised such a system, he added

Schumer also wrote to the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration asking them to work with the DEC and local communities to ensure the new systems are in compliance.
by Patrick Kelton
Long Island News

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Entry filed under: Dive In, Public Waterfront, Region. Tags: , , , , , .

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