Allows recreational spearfishing in New York's marine and coastal waters; defines "spear gun" and "under-water gun" and provides for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to defining spearguns and allowing recreational spearfishing in New York's marine and coastal waters
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Allows recreational spearfishing in New York's marine and coastal waters.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Subdivision 1 of Section 11-0103 of the Environmental Conservation Law is amended by adding a new paragraph f to provide a definition for "speargun" and "under-water gun".
Subdivision 1 of Section 11-1301 of the Environmental Conservation Law is amended by adding a new paragraph c to expand the species of fish that may be taken recreationally by spear, speargun or spearing in the marine and coastal district.
JUSTIFICATION: Spearfishing with spearguns has been an active form of fishing in Long Island waters for over 60 years. Those experienced in the sport have received intensive training, possess advanced certifications and are extremely mindful and observant of underwater ecosystems.
Spearfishing has a comparatively low impact on the New York Fishery and mortality is well below accepted levels based on the Marine Recreational Information Program data source. It is an extremely selective method of fishing as only the target species is harvested, resulting in much lower by-catch yields. Spear-fishing also supplies in a fresher, less bruised, higher-valued product as it can be harvested from the water immediately. This type of fishing does not create any secondary environmental impacts resulting from sources such as discarded fishing lines and hooks which, left behind or inappropriately discarded, may threaten both marine wildlife and humans alike.
Existing New York State Department of Environmental. Conservation (NYSDEC) regulations currently allows the use of spearguns for the recreational taking of striped bass (6 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 40.1(g)(2)). This legislation would also permit migratory food fish of the sea to be taken recreationally by spear, speargun or spearing in the marine and coastal district. It also provides a clear definition of "speargun" and "under-water gun" which has been developed by the Underwater Society of America for muscle-powered guns.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2012: A.10109
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Effective immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 3823 A. 5179 2013-2014 Regular Sessions S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y February 21, 2013 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. ZELDIN, LAVALLE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to defining spearguns and allowing recreational spearfishing in New York's marine and coastal waters THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 11-0103 of the environmental conservation law is amended by adding a new paragraph f to read as follows: F. "SPEARGUN" AND "UNDER-WATER GUN" MEANS ANY SPEARGUN THAT STORES POTENTIAL ENERGY PROVIDED FROM THE SPEARFISHER'S MUSCLES ONLY. SUCH GUN MAY ONLY RELEASE THAT AMOUNT OF ENERGY THAT THE DIVER HAS PROVIDED TO IT FROM SUCH DIVER'S OWN MUSCLES. COMMON TEMPORARY ENERGY STORING DEVICES FOR SPEARGUNS SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO: RUBBER BANDS, SPRINGS, AND SEALED AIR CHAMBERS. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 11-1301 of the environmental conserva- tion law is amended by adding a new paragraph c to read as follows: C. MIGRATORY FOOD FISH OF THE SEA MAY BE TAKEN RECREATIONALLY BY SPEAR, SPEARGUN OR SPEARING IN THE MARINE AND COASTAL DISTRICT. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08356-01-3