Where to start...The slaughter began with the DEC moving the meeting to 5PM.
As the clock approached the witching hour, we had quite a pathetic crowd assembled of about 25 or so people. As we sat down, the gavel was already banging to bring the meeting to order right on time. As people were trickling in, a rapid fire presentation began on the appeal.
We were told the regulations posted below would be implemented, and that the DEC worked hard on our behalf for this compromise. We were told that there were a "few" angry people in the room, but that many, many others who did not show up, were quite satisfied with the work that the DEC had done on our behalf.
At about 5:20, they began taking comments from the MRAC council, and the public. We were told that it would be limited to just a few.
Some high (low) lights....
Council member Steve Whittune asked how we lost the ASMFC vote designating quota allocation by a margin of 6-4, when there are actually 12 states in the management plan. The two that didn't vote being Maine, & New Hampshire in the Northern region. As far as I could tell there was no clear answer on that. Jim Gilmore did state that they helped us with the appeal. To that I say BIG DEAL...
I stated that despite what they are telling us, this is in fact yet another reduction. That in fact it's a 33% reduction in Nov, & Dec. As they tried to cut me off (numerous times), I also stated instead of giving us a fake increase, everyone in the room would have been much happier with just leaving the regs status-quo to last year. I also addressed the parody issue in wave 6 where you will have boats from different states fishing side by side with extreme differences in their regs. As a parting gift I was also able to get in one more question: Where did these "extra" fish come from that they used to offset the 12% reduction, and acording to them give us a 3.75% increase for the region (2% in the state of NY)? That's a 15.75% increase to what was originally propose.... Sadly the tap dance began, and I have no answers for you.
Capt. Jamie Quaresimo call it another reduction, and said this will destroy his fall business.
Capt. Rich Jensen questioned how CT came out ahead of us again, and stated that they seem to be doing a better job fighting for their for hire industry. Sector separation was brought up, and Jim Gilmore didn't seem to like that idea. After some back and forth he said it could be looked at.
Mark Cusumano asked if the DEC actually understands what impact these regs will have on the people in the for-hire industry.
Comments were rushed to be wrapped up, at about 5:40 with people such as Ec Newell Man, who had a 3 hour drive from Brooklyn, Capt. Thomas Weiss from Point Lookout, and Congressman Lee Zeldin's rep Mark Woolly just walking in.
At this point Jim Gilmore announced that the meeting would be moving on to cod, squid, etc. I had to interrupt, and ask if we were done with BSB? People just sitting down...no mention of options, out of compliance or a statement allowed from the congressmans's office?
At at this point many stood up to walk out of the meeting. Mark Woolley at this point did manage to read a statement from Lee Zeldin, that trashed the compromise, and the effort put forth by the DEC.
Mr. Gilmore fired back with a letter PRAISING HIS EFFORTS from the Captree Boatmans Association.
As as this was being read many walked out of the meeting.
I would like to thank Mark Harrington from Newsday for being there.