New York Treats Fed Limits as Fan Mail From Some Flounder

     BROOKLYN (CN) – New York state challenged federal limits on recreational fishing of summer flounder, claiming the data used to determine the quota is old and inaccurate and discriminates against New York-based fishermen. The state sued the feds over the same regulations in 2008.

     The state claims in Federal Court that management measures established by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are based on “obsolete” data from 1998, when the flounder population “was far more depleted than today, with average age and size truncated by overfishing.”
     Since stricter rules were implemented in 1998, summer flounder have recovered and fish have increased in size, with many migrating north toward the cold New York waters, the state says. Despite that good news, it says the management measures for New York are much harsher than in neighboring states such as New Jersey, where a fisherman can land up to six summer flounder per day in a 101-day season, while in New York a fisherman can only land up to two flounders per day over a 78-day season.
     The annual management measures include “size, catch and season limits for the recreational summer flounder fishery.”
     The state wants the 2009 management measures vacated as in violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act and Administrative Procedure Act.
     The U.S. Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also named as defendants.
     The state’s 2008 lawsuit is still pending.

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