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DEC Reopening of Commercial Black Sea Bass Fishery August 27

The commercial black sea bass fishery will reopen on Aug. 27, five days earlier than expected, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.The commercial fishery was previously closed on July 28 due to projected landings approaching the total allowed for Quota Period 3 (July 1 – Aug. 31), but rough weather resulted in much lower landings during the last open week of fishing. Approximately 10,000 lbs. remain available for harvest during Period 3.

“DEC is constantly striving to provide a healthy and robust fishery to support commercial fishermen and women while maintaining sound fish management practices, and we are pleased to announce this early opening,” Commissioner Seggos said. “We look forward to a productive season as we continue to seek federal regulatory changes to create additional and equitable opportunities for New York’s commercial fishing community.”

Division of Marine Resources (DMR) will notify its state-licensed commercial fishermen that the marine waters of New York will be reopened to the harvest and landing of commercial black sea bass beginning 12 a.m. on Aug. 27. The commercial black sea bass fishery will remain open as previously planned for the start of Quota Period 4 (Sept. 1 – Oct. 31). Please note that there is always a potential for an early Period 4 closure if harvest exceeds the allotted quota.

DMR holds annual meetings with the commercial fishing industry to determine how to distribute the state’s allocation for each quota managed species throughout the calendar year. Based on input collected at these meetings, DMR staff develop quota distribution plans that allocate a portion of the quota to defined periods throughout the year. The intention is to preserve access to these resources for NYS commercial fishermen and women throughout the Marine and Coastal District that fish from different ports, using different gear types and vessels.

A commercial black sea bass reopening is necessary to allow NYS licensed fishermen to harvest the Period 3 quota as allocated in the 2018 Black Sea Bass Quota Distribution Plan.