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NY Legislature passes menhaden bill: ‘The public is stepping up to protect these fish’


Photo: Gene Helfman
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Photo: Gene Helfman

The New York State Senate today passed legislation to prevent the use of “purse seines,” the enormous nets being used by industrial fishing operations, to harvest Atlantic menhaden (also known as “bunker”) in New York State waters. The Assembly passed the measure on Monday (A.2571/S.2317). The bill goes to Governor Cuomo’s office for his signature.

George Jackman, Riverkeeper Habitat Restoration Manager, said:

“Well done, New York. Protecting menhaden is absolutely essential for supporting life in the Hudson and the coastal Atlantic, and this law sends an important message.

“By limiting the use of these enormous nets in state waters, New York is putting the fishing industry on notice: The public is stepping up to protect these fish. We’re not going to allow industrial-scale fishing to further decimate this species for its own profit. We need to protect these fish on behalf of all the life that relies on them.

“More must be done to guard against the overfishing of menhaden and to restore the abundance of life along our coast and in the Hudson. If we want to keep seeing whales and dolphins just outside New York Harbor, and if we want to see striped bass and other species rebound, we need to protect these vital menhaden.

“Thanks to the Legislature for taking this step.”

More information:

Does Atlantic menhaden fishery deserve ‘sustainable’ label? Not so fast.

Tell Gov. Hochul to block invasive species at the Erie and Champlain canals
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