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; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
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 spear, 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 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 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: On the 90th day with provisions.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3823--C Cal. No. 167 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 21, 2013 ___________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 reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third read- ing -- recommitted to the Committee on Environmental Conservation in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, passed by Senate and delivered to the Assembly, recalled, vote reconsidered, restored to third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading 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; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof 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. LBD08356-05-4 S. 3823--C 2
C. EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROHIBITED BY LAW, FISH MAY BE TAKEN BY SPEAR OR SPEARGUN IN THE MARINE AND COASTAL DISTRICT ONLY FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES. A SPEARGUN MUST BE SUBMERGED WHEN USED TO TAKE FISH. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NO FOOD FISH MAY BE TAKEN BY SPEAR OR SPEARGUN WITHIN ONE HUNDRED YARDS OF A PUBLIC BATHING AREA. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law and shall expire and be deemed repealed June 1, 2017.