Bill S4072A-2011

Relates to harvesting surf clams and ocean quahogs

Relates to permits to mechanically harvest surf clams and ocean quahogs from New York's waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 17, 2011: SUBSTITUTED BY A5347A
  • Jun 7, 2011: AMENDED ON THIRD READING (T) 4072A
  • May 9, 2011: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 4, 2011: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 3, 2011: 1ST REPORT CAL.435
  • Mar 16, 2011: REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4072A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the harvesting of surf clams and ocean quahogs; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To make the harvesting of surf clams and ocean quahogs more economical and sustainable into the future.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. Subdivision 15 of Section 13-0309 of the Environmental Conservation Law. as added by Chapter 512 of the Laws of 1994, paragraph a as amended by Chapter 323 of the Laws of 1999, is amended and a new subdivision 16 is added to authorize persons holding harvesting permits in New York's Atlantic Ocean surf clam/ocean quahog fishery to cooperatively harvest surf clams and ocean quahog and further provides far the consolidation of the individual fishing quota from more than one Atlantic Ocean surf clam/ocean quahog permit into a single permit.

Section 2. This act shall take immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed December 31, 2013.

JUSTIFICATION: There currently are 22 Atlantic Ocean surf clam/ocean quahog permits issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) that allow the taking of surf clams and ocean quahogs from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Each of those permits is identified with a specific vessel with a specific "Individual Fishing Quota" ("IFQ"). The "IFQ" is the maximum amount of surf clams and ocean quahogs that may be harvested by a vessel in any calendar year.

All clams harvested under a surf clam/ocean quahog permit can only be harvested on the vessel identified on that permit. In cases where a harvester holds more than one permit, they must have a separate vessel far each permit. However, each individual quota is insufficient to support the operation of a separate, individual vessel on a cans is tent weekly basis. Consolidating more than one IFQ onto one vessel will enable harvesters to operate fewer vessels more safely and productively, thereby avoiding the enormous overhead associated with maintaining a separate vessel for each IFQ. From an environmental standpoint, reducing the number of vessels in the fishery would better protect the surf clam and ocean quahag resource from the effects of inefficient dredging by older dredges. This effect will better ensure the future sustainability of one of New York's - and one of the country's - most economically viable marine fishery resources.

This legislation would also provide for "cooperative harvesting", where each harvester can decide whether to, harvest his catch quota from his own vessel or from another IFQ holder's vessel. Cage tags that are issued by the DEC would be provided by the IFQ holder to the captain of the harvesting vessel. The catch brought in by cooperative harvesting would be identified on bath the IFQ holder's vessel and the harvesting vessel on their weekly trip reports in order to, ensure that daily catch limits established by DEC would not be exceeded.

Enactment of this legislation providing for cooperative harvesting and consolidation of individual fishing quotas would make harvesting of the surf 'clam and ocean quahog fishery more economical, safer and sustainable into, the future, all without any detrimental impact to or increased harvesting of the resource.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New legislation, 2011.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed December 31, 2013.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4072--A Cal. No. 435 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 16, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. ZELDIN, JOHNSON, LAVALLE, MARCELLINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation -- reported favorably from said commit- tee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a 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 the harvesting of surf clams and ocean quahogs; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon the expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 15 of section 13-0309 of the environmental conservation law, as added by chapter 512 of the laws of 1994, paragraph a as amended by chapter 323 of the laws of 1999, is amended and a new subdivision 16 is added to read as follows: 15. [Unless and until regulations are adopted implementing a compre- hensive long-term management plan for the protection of surf clams and ocean quahogs in New York waters prepared in conjunction with the surf clam/ocean quahog management advisory board pursuant to section 13-0308, of this title, the following restrictions shall apply in addition to any consistent regulations adopted prior to the date upon which such section shall take effect: a. a weekly catch limit not to exceed twenty-eight cages; b. an annual catch limit in certified waters of the Atlantic Ocean for surf clams not to exceed five hundred thousand bushels in the aggregate; c. an annual catch limit in certified waters other than the Atlantic Ocean for surf clams not to exceed fifty thousand bushels in the aggre- gate; and d. requiring permittees to report on a weekly basis the number of bushels harvested in the previous seven day period, and provide that the failure to file such weekly report may result in the revocation of such
person's permit by the department.]
COOPERATIVE HARVESTING. NOTWITH- STANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER OR RULE OR REGULATION, PERSONS HOLDING HARVESTING PERMITS IN NEW YORK'S ATLANTIC OCEAN SURF CLAM/OCEAN QUAHOG FISHERY ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO COOPERATIVELY HARVEST ANY PORTION OF THE PERSON'S INDIVIDUAL FISHING QUOTA (IFQ) BY USE OF ANY VESSEL THAT IS ELIGIBLE TO HARVEST SHELLFISH IN THE FISHERY, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING: A. SUCH COOPERATIVE HARVESTING SHALL COMPLY WITH DAILY CATCH LIMITS ESTABLISHED FOR THE FISHERY BY THE DEPARTMENT WHICH SHALL BE COUNTED AGAINST BOTH THE IFQ HOLDER VESSEL'S AND THE HARVESTING VESSEL'S DAILY CATCH LIMITS. B. THE HARVESTING VESSEL USED TO CATCH SUCH IFQ OR PORTION THEREOF SHALL BE IDENTIFIED TO THE DEPARTMENT IN BOTH THE IFQ HOLDER'S AND THE HARVESTING VESSEL'S REPORT TO THE DEPARTMENT. C. IN COOPERATIVE HARVESTING THERE SHALL BE NO REQUIREMENT THAT THE CAPTAIN OF THE IFQ HOLDER'S VESSEL BE ON BOARD THE HARVESTING VESSEL DURING HARVESTING. D. IN COOPERATIVE HARVESTING THE IFQ HOLDER WILL PROVIDE THE CAPTAIN OF THE HARVESTING VESSEL WITH SUCH CAGE TAGS AS ARE NECESSARY TO ACCOUNT FOR THE HARVEST ATTRIBUTABLE TO SUCH IFQ HOLDER. E. NOTHING HEREIN DESCRIBED SHALL ALTER THE DAILY, WEEKLY OR ANNUAL CATCH LIMITS OBTAINABLE BY ANY IFQ HOLDER WITHIN THE FISHERY. 16. CONSOLIDATION. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER OR RULE OR REGULATION, ANY PERSON WHO HOLDS AN ATLANTIC OCEAN SURF CLAM/OCEAN QUAHOG PERMIT IS AUTHORIZED TO REQUEST THE DEPARTMENT TO CONSOLIDATE THE INDIVIDUAL FISHING QUOTA (IFQ) OR PORTIONS THEREOF ESTABLISHED FOR ITS VESSEL ONTO ONE OR MORE SUCH VESSELS AS THE PERMIT- TEE MAY DIRECT, SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING: A. VESSELS UPON WHICH ANY IFQ OR PORTION OF AN IFQ ARE PLACED UNDER THIS PROVISION MUST HOLD A DEPARTMENT-ISSUED PERMIT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE FISHERY. B. UPON TRANSFERRING THE ENTIRETY OF AN IFQ FROM ONE VESSEL TO ANOTHER OR OTHERS, THE TRANSFERRING VESSEL SHALL BECOME INELIGIBLE TO PARTIC- IPATE IN THE FISHERY UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE VESSEL IS PROPERLY IDENTI- FIED FOR USE TO THE DEPARTMENT ON ANOTHER ATLANTIC OCEAN SURF CLAM/OCEAN QUAHOG HARVESTING PERMIT. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed December 31, 2013.

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