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Lavalle And Thiele Encourage Participants to Attend DEC Public Information Sessions To Improve State’s Commercial Fishing Licensing System

LongIsland.com

Assemblyman Thiele: "I am pleased to see that the DEC is keeping its promise to support a vital Long Island industry that is getting choked out by poor regulation."

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NY State Senator Ken LaValle.

Photo by: Office of Senator Ken LaValle.

Long Island, NY - July 24, 2018 - Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. and State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a series of meetings in July and August to gather feedback from key stakeholders about the State’s current commercial fishing licensing system and ideas for reforms to modernize and improve the program. 
 
Assemblyman Thiele and Senator LaValle brought this issue into focus last year when, in the State Legislature, they blocked the DEC from continuing the current archaic commercial fishing licensing scheme for another three years. As a compromise, the licensing scheme was limited to one (1) year and DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos agreed to come to Long Island last fall to meet with members of commercial fishing industry. 
 
At that meeting, the industry unanimously supported two demands: 1) Challenge the federal quotas; and 2) Reform the commercial fishing licensing system to improve access and transferability of licenses. The Commissioner promised action. 
 
Assemblyman Thiele stated, “I am pleased to see that the DEC is keeping its promise to support a vital Long Island industry that is getting choked out by poor regulation. Commercial fishermen have long suffered from unfair and inequitable quotas arbitrarily set by the federal government based on faulty data. Additionally, the current regulations related to the transfer of permits and licenses have thwarted the proper operation of this industry.”
 
"We must resolve these issues with our fishing community at the table in full participation. The economic survival of our commercial fishermen must be our ultimate priority. I, too, applaud the DEC's efforts to fight for fair and equitable quotas and will continue my efforts to protect this vital industry," said Senator LaValle. 
 
In March, the DEC retained the services of marine fisheries consultant George LaPointe, who will facilitate the meetings. A former Commissioner of the Maine Department of Natural Resources, Mr. LaPointe will analyze and evaluate the current marine commercial licensing system and provide recommendations on how to improve and revise it. The topics to be addressed include, specifying qualifications for license issuance; license transferability; identifying means of entry for new participants in New York’s fisheries; apprenticeship; and resolution of the latent licenses issue.
 
There are several meetings scheduled throughout Long Island, including two on the East End:
 
Thursday, August 2, 2018, 6:00 PM
Southampton Town Hall (first floor)
116 Hampton Road
Southampton, New York 11968
 
Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 6:00 PM
Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center
3690 Cedar Beach Road
Southold, New York 11971
 
For an updated list of meeting notices, including Montauk, visit DEC’s website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7755.html. DEC will accept comments on the Marine Commercial Licensing System until September 15, 2018. Comments can be submitted by email to FW.Marine@dec.ny.gov with subject line “GLP Permits,” or by mail to Maureen Davidson, NYSDEC, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite #1, East Setauket, NY 11733.
 
The meetings are accessible to people with language differences and/or disabilities. A person who needs an interpretive or disability-related accommodation or modification to participate in the meeting may make a request by contacting Maureen Davidson at (631) 444-0483 or sending a written request to Maureen Davidson, NYSDEC, 205 Belle Mead Road, Suite #1, East Setauket, New York 11733. Providing your request at least five business days before the meeting will help ensure availability of the requested accommodation.