All regularly scheduled meetings of the Council are held on Tuesdays at 2:00pm at the office of the Bureau of Marine Resources, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, 205 Belle Meade Road, East Setauket, NY.
Any change in meeting dates, times or location will be posted on this Web Page. Those planning to attend a Council meeting are encouraged to check this Web Page beforehand for any such changes.
Below are the dates of the regularly-scheduled meetings of the Marine Resources Advisory Council in Calendar 2014:
The Marine Resources Advisory Council was established by the New York State Legislature in 1987 to provide advice to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on issues pertaining to New York's living marine resources and the fisheries these resources sustain. The statutory duties of the council include:
- to review DEC allocations and expenditures for the care, management, protection and enlargement of marine resources
- to issue reports and information regarding DEC's marine resources program to commercial and recreational harvesters
- to consult with commercial and recreational harvesters to develop recommendations regarding marine resource program needs
- to assist DEC's efforts to expand available income to meet (marine) program needs
- to review and provide recommendations to DEC on any proposed regulations for the management of marine fisheries
The Council is comprised of fifteen members, seven representatives each from the state's commercial and recreational fishing industries and the Dean of the Marine Sciences Research Center, MSRC (now the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, SoMAS) of Stony Brook University, or his/her designee, as chairperson. Appointments to the council are made by the DEC Commissioner. For eight of these appointments, the Commissioner acts on nominations from the Majority Leader of the New York State Senate and the Speaker of the New York State Assembly. The remaining six councilors are appointed directly by the Commissioner. Since the Council's inception, Mr. William Wise of MSRC has served as chairman. The current membership of the Council is listed below.
|Recreational Fishery Representatives
||Commercial Fishery Representatives
|Bob Danielson, Senate nominee
||John Davi, Senate nominee
|John Renaldo, Senate nominee
||Dean Yaxa, Senate nominee
|Paul Risi, Assembly nominee
||Vacant, Assembly nominee
|Christopher Squeri, Assembly nominee
||Vacant, Assembly nominee
|Charles Witek, Commissioner appointee
||Karen Rivara, Commissioner appointee
|Joseph Paradiso, Commissioner appointee
||Paul Farnham, Commissioner appointee
|Melissa Dearborn, Commissioner appointee
||Thomas Jordan, Commissioner appointee
During a calendar year, the Marine Resources Advisory Council holds seven regularly-scheduled meetings: January, March, April, May, July, September, and November. These meetings are supplemented with extraordinary meetings as occasion and circumstances warrant.
In an effort to keep the public informed about the Council's activities, deliberations, and positions, a bulletin series is produced. The bulletin briefly describes the major discussions at each of the Council's regularly-scheduled meetings, along with any motions made during a meeting and whether the motion was adopted or not. Each issue of the bulletin also identifies the dates of the Council's remaining regularly-scheduled meetings in that calendar year and lists the agenda items for the next Council meeting. Past issues of the Council Bulletin are available below.
For more information about the Marine Resources Advisory Council, contact chairman William Wise: email@example.com; 631/632-8656 (ph); 631/632-9441 (FAX).
For information about marine resources in New York State and the role of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in the management of these resources, visit the Bureau of Marine Resources Web Site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/796.html. Information on shellfish, recreational saltwater fishing, and marine habitats is available there.
New York State Fluke (Summer Flounder) Allocation
As most saltwater fishermen in New York are aware, New York has been pointing up the disparities and unfairness inherent in the current approach used by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to allocate the coastwide recreational and commercial fluke quotas between its member states. New York's basic contentions are 1) the allocation formulae and process rely on fluke harvest data from the various states from about 15 years ago that is of very questionable accuracy and 2) the distribution of fluke along the U.S. East Coast has changed markedly since this base period, with the population shifting northward, resulting in fluke being now much more abundant in the more northerly reaches of its historic range, including in the waters off New York.
Through the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the State has sought redress of these inequities in the fluke state allocation process through the deliberations of the ASMFC, of which it is a member. These efforts have been largely fruitless. Attached are letters from Governor Andrew Cuomo and DEC Assistant Commissioner for Natural Resources Kathy Moser, along with a recent press release, that attest to the seriousness with which the State views this matter and its commitment to securing a fairer allocation of fluke to the fishermen of New York.
NOAA Fisheries Report on Damages to New York & New Jersey Commercial and Recreational Fisheries from Super Storm Sandy.
The National Marine Fisheries Service has released a report estimating the economic losses to the marine commercial and recreational fisheries sectors in New York and New Jersey from Super Storm Sandy. The findings of the report, along with surveys conducted by both states and New York Sea Grant, will inform the plans developed by the two States to provide disaster relief funding to the fisheries sector. Go here for the NMFS report.
Survey of Marine Damage from Super Storm Sandy
The New York Sea Grant program has been working with the marina industry in New York to compile information on the financial losses to the industry attributable to Super Storm Sandy. This information will feed into State decisions on economic relief programs targeted at losses from this storm. Marine owners/operators are encouraged to participate in this voluntary survey, which is completely confidential. Here are two links about the project:
NYSG Marina Economic Loss Questionnaire http://www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/articles/r/2238
“Super Storm” Sandy Economic Injury Loss Questionnaire / Worksheet http://www.seagrant.sunysb.edu/articles/r/2236
Getting Information on Marine Fishery & Marine Fishery-related Bills & Laws in New York
In New York, management of marine fisheries is the joint responsibility of the New York State Legislature and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The Legislature authorizes DEC to manage certain aspects of our marine fisheries by regulation and retains sole responsibility for other aspects of marine fisheries management. The Legislature can rescind or expand DEC's regulatory authority and may pass a bill that supersedes any specific regulation. Of course, if the Legislature passes a bill, that bill must still be signed into law by the Governor before it can take effect.
All legislation being considered by the State Legislature (not just in marine fisheries or marine environmental issues, but in all issues of interest to the state) can be accessed through the World Wide Web Sites maintained by the New York State Senate (www.senate.state.ny.us) and the New York State Assembly (www.assembly.state.ny.us). The text of each bill is available, as is (usually) its legislative history and bill memo, which explains the reason(s) why the bill sponsor(s) think it is a good idea. Either site can be searched by bill number or by keyword (e.g., bluefish or "marine fisheries."
Also available through the these two web sites is the text of the Laws of New York, including the Environmental Conservation Law and its several articles dealing with marine fisheries and marine resources, generally.
DEC Marine Law Enforcement Reports
An essential aspect of marine fisheries and fishery resource management is an effective enforcement component. The best-intentioned management measure will almost surely fail if it is not practically enforceable and a credible law enforcement presence is a practical necessity if New York State's marine resources management program is to succeed. At the State level, marine law enforcement is the responsibility of the Division of Law Enforcement of the State Department of Environmental Conservation. Marine law enforcement is carried out two groups within the Division. The first is the Marine Enforcement Unit (MEU), a cadre of specialized Environmental Conservation Officers charged exclusively with enforcing State and Federal marine resource laws and regulations both on and off-shore. The MEU operates out of the Marine Resources Office in East Setauket and operates a fleet of 31 ft. Safeboats and a 42 ft. Duffy. The second group is the regionally-based Environmental Conservation Officers. The regional officers, operating out of Stony Brook and Long Island City, are responsible for enforcing the full range of natural resource laws and regulations, including those affecting the marine environment. Both groups of individuals work tirelessly, often with too-little recognition, to protect New York's marine environment and the living marine resources it sustains.
The NYSDEC's Division of Law Enforcement periodically provides the Marine Resources Advisory Council with written summaries of recent marine law enforcement activities occurring within the Marine and Coastal Resources District. As these are received, they will be posted in this location on the Council's web page. Below are links to these reports.