New York has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Commerce Department, claiming that its 2020-2021 quota on the state’s commercial fluke fisheries is unlawful.
The fluke, also known as the summer flounder, is a popular game fish that can be found in the lower Hudson Valley and New York Harbor. In its lawsuit, the state is seeking a revised allocation based on current fisheries data.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia James argue that the Commerce Department was working on data from the 1980s when the population for the fluke was at lower levels and more primarily concentrated in southern waters. The lawsuit noted that New York’s commercial fishermen were limited to daily trip limits of 50-70 pounds over the last two years, while boats from other states have limits of several thousand pounds.
“New York’s commercial fishing industry is a critical economic driver that has been held back by outdated federal restrictions for decades,” said Cuomo said in a statement. “After numerous attempts to work with the federal government to adjust this unfair quota, we’re forced to make our case through the courts to protect the hardworking men and women of this industry. We will not back down until these unreasonable limits on New York’s fishing industry are made right.”