Press Release

Gillibrand Urges Feds To Oppose Global Listing That Would Crush Long Island’s Commercial Fishing Exports

Oct 9, 2009

Washington, DC – U.S.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today urged the federal government to oppose
a global listing that would crush Long Island’s commercial fishing
exports. An upcoming international meeting will include discussions on
classifying the spiny dogfish as an endangered species due to trade.
However, the U.S. has operated its fishing industry with catch caps
that have prevented the spiny dogfish depletion seen in other
countries. Senator Gillibrand expressed opposition to listing spiny
dogfish has endangered, which could have grave consequences for Long
Island’s fresh dogfish export market.

her letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of
Commerce Gary Locke, Senator Gillibrand wrote, “The United States has
operated an efficient and profitable industry surrounding spiny dogfish
exports. We have done so while still maintaining strict cap systems
that have contributed to the rebuilding of the stock. Such a listing
would be harmful for those markets that export the spiny dogfish in New
York State.”

nearly a decade, the domestic dogfish industry along the East Coast has
been operating under a restrictive catch cap, with the directed fishery
closed. As a result of this catch cap, the stocks have dramatically
rebounded in this area. Unfortunately, other countries have not shown
the same level of discipline in managing their spiny dogfish stocks.
This has led to depleted stocks of the same species in other waters.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species listing is
reserved for greatly threatened or endangered species that have been
depleted from excessive trade. Senator Gillibrand called on the U.S.
government to not take a position in the upcoming negotiations to
restrict the domestic industry.

Atlantic coastal states, acting through the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission, and the New England and Mid-Atlantic Fishery
Management Council, officially opposed this listing.  Likewise, an
unusual and broad coalition of recreational and charter groups,
commercial fishery organizations, processors, exporters, and buyers
have all come together to pass along the same message.