A state promoting new rules for whelk harvesting.Fishermen say “slow down”

The state of New York has put in place a set of rules to limit the annual yield of sea snails on the Long Island called Whelk, but some fishermen say the limit is not necessary.

Whelk, also known as snails, has become an indispensable species, especially for long island fishermen who have traditionally harvested red shrimp with sound. However, in recent years, the population of red shrimp has declined sharply, and fishing for red shrimp has been banned for several months of the year.

Snails, which are also harvested in traps that use the same transport equipment as lobster pots, are popular in the ethnic food market, such as scanjiri and Asian specialties. About 230 people are allowed to harvest whelk in New York, with an average of 200 traps for anglers.

For decades, fishermen were considered popular shellfish-eating predators, and state law prohibited them from returning their once-caught whelks to water.

However, in a recent report, the State Department of Environmental Conservation states that Whelk is “particularly vulnerable to rising catch pressures due to its slow maturity and slow growth history characteristics.”

At DEC’s suggestion, the minimum size limit for keeping a whelk is 5.5 inches long. This is because females are sexually mature.

This rule “is the first step to ensure that some female whelks have at least one breeding opportunity before they are harvested,” the DEC submitted with the proposed rule. Said in a regulatory impact statement.

“By allowing female whelks to breed at least once before they are removed from the population, the problem of harvest-related recruitment failures could be eliminated,” the statement said.

According to DEC, the new rules may apply in the 2022 season.

However, during a meeting of the DEC’s Marine Resources Advisory Board on Tuesday, John Davi, a fisherman representing the commercial interests of the DEC’s Marine Resources Advisory Board, decided to proceed with the rules without a formal hearing. Disputed. About 28 people attended the meeting on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s really fair to do something without reaching out to the entire community,” Davi said. “… it will affect their lives in some way. They should be asked.”

John German is fishing for conch shells and other species. Sinai Harbor, president of the Long Island Sound Lobsterman Association, has requested the DEC to postpone the development of the rules until a full face-to-face meeting is held. DEC officials declined, saying the rules had been discussed and broadcast for years. Written comments can be submitted until June 21st.

In an interview, Germans said in an interview that if DEC insists on enacting a new law, more than 100 petitions requesting that the proposed size limit be reduced to 5 inches in length and the allowable margin for smaller snails be 20%. Said that he collected the signatures of. It will cause the shell to break. The tip of the snail shell can be damaged during handling, reducing its apparent size.

“The guys from Peconic to Great South Bay [the DEC] Germans said small snails were more common in these areas, challenged DEC’s claim that whelk populations were declining, and said many fishermen ceased activity last year. It was.

John Maniskarco, Director of the Marine Fisheries Department at DEC, told attendees at the conference: He warned that “fisheries that continue to catch animals before they mature are destined to fail.”

The new rules also require fishermen to use bait bags for whelk traps. That is, put food such as horseshoe crabs, skates, and smalltooth sand tigers in a mesh bag. This approach can reduce the amount of food whelk consumed.

Germans said many fishermen tried bait bags and found that “the one who does not use the bait bag catches”.

The new rules also require fishermen to mark their ID owners with gear to prevent theft and vandalism, and to return lost gear to their owners. The rules also restrict fishermen from carrying snail traps between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise, which DEC “protects permit holders from theft.”

Fishermen will need a new gauge to measure the whelk. This is a tool that can cost about $ 17.

There are about 230 snail permit holders on Long Island, and active fishing people use an average of 200 pots. The new law requires you to use certain types of lines that cost an additional $ 170. Each bait bag costs $ 3.40.

DEC wants to coordinate Connecticut and rule creation, which currently have no rules, so that there are similar rules on both sides of the sound.

A state promoting new rules for whelk harvesting.Fishermen say “slow down”

Source link A state promoting new rules for whelk harvesting.Fishermen say “slow down”

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