From Surfcasters journal blog
No NY reps at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting related to stock assessment for striped bass
This came in the email from Charles Witek ,chairman of the Costal Conservation Association Atlantic State Fisheries. By the time you are done reading, the steam will coming out of your ears. There has to be some way to reach out to our governor and voice our displesure.
By Charles Witek
Right now, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is holding a four-day meeting in Philadelphia related to the upcoming benchmark stock assessment for striped bass. That benchmark assessment, which will probably be completed next spring, will be used by fisheries managers to determine how striped bass will be managed for the next span of years–perhaps until 2020 or so.
Representatives from every important striped bass state, and maybe from every state with a declared interest in striped bass are there—except for New York, which is unrepresented.
New York was supposed to send three people. Andy Kahnle, from the Hudson River unit, who sits on ASMFC’s Striped Bass Technical Committee, Carol [I don’t recall her last name] from DEC’s Marine Bureau, who addresses coastal striped bass management issues and Cathy Hattala, who deals with bass up on the Hudson (DEC Marine Bureau Hudson River Unit). ASMFC would have paid for all travel expenses.
Today, I got a phone call from Dick Brame, who is Coastal Conservation Association’s Atlantic States coordinator and thus attending the meeting as an observer. He told me that three Technical Committee members came up to him and asked why New York was not represented at the meeting, given the importance of striped bass to New York and the importance of New York’s Hudson River spawning grounds to striped bass. Cathy Hattala tried to participate in the meeting via “Webinar”, but apparently the connection was so bad and so time-delayed that she could not effectively take part. As a result, data related to New York’s striped bass fishery (and, I assume, related to things such as the Hudson River abundance index, although I don’t know that for sure) could not be considered at the meeting.
Apparently, the no-show was a result of the governor’s prohibition on travel; even though the travel would have been paid for by ASMFC, the DEC folks couldn’t go.
One would think that a meeting discussing the future management of a fish as important to New York’s anglers as striped bass, should have been important enough for Cuomo’s office to permit travel, particularly when the costs of such travel will be picked up by ASMFC—and particularly when New York’s Hudson River hosts the second-largest spawning population of striped bass on the coast. However, that was not the case. Instead, New York anglers and New York’s striped bass fishery were effectively unrepresented.
This is the sort of thing that the public never hears about, and probably should.