Allows recreational spearfishing in New York's marine and coastal waters; defines "spear gun" and "under-water gun".
Ayes (58): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Dilan, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Ranzenhofer, Rivera, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (3): Espaillat, Perkins, Serrano
Excused (2): Diaz, Ritchie
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". Spearguns and under-water guns may only be used while submerged under the water, and such guns may only release the amount of energy that the diver has provided to it from such diver's own muscle.
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 sneer, speargun or spearing in the marine and coastal district. However, no fish may be taken by speargun or under-water gun within 100 yards of a designated or marked public bathing area.
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 food fish of the sea to be taken recreationally by spear, speargun or spearing in the marine and coastal district, but would restrict any taking within 100 yards of a designated and marked public bathing area, as is done in the state of Florida. 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--B A. 5179--B Cal. No. 286 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 -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first report, amended on first report, ordered to a second report and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of second report -- reported favorably from said committee to third read- ing, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. THIELE -- read once and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- again reported from said committee with amend- ments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee 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 AND IS USED WHILE SUBMERGED UNDER THE WATER. 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:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08356-04-3 S. 3823--B 2 A. 5179--B
C. FOOD FISH MAY BE TAKEN RECREATIONALLY BY SPEAR, SPEARGUN OR SPEAR- ING IN THE MARINE AND COASTAL DISTRICT. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NO FOOD FISH MAY BE TAKEN RECREATIONALLY BY SPEAR, SPEARGUN OR SPEARING WITHIN ONE HUNDRED YARDS OF A DESIGNATED AND MARKED PUBLIC BATHING AREA. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.