Fee Will Be Gone in 180 Days - Replaced By Free Registry
York's saltwater fishing license is being repealed!
to the Associated Press, New York lawmakers and the Cuomo administration have
just reached an agreement to end the state's $10 annual saltwater fishing
license and replace it with a free registry for the state's coastal
waters.¬† Legislators announcing the change yesterday say it will
cover two years.
Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) received a "high priority" email sent
through DEC channels yesterday afternoon regarding the license repeal, noting
that budget discussions between Governor Cuomo and the New York state
legislature helped facilitate the repeal effort, which is said will take place
in the next 180 days.¬†
Tuesday, March 15th, a Senate Budget Resolution calling for the repeal of the
MTA Payroll Tax for public and private schools, as well as full repeal of the
saltwater fishing license was passed in the New York Senate.¬† "I
made clear from the beginning of the Budget process that I would not support any
new taxes or fees," Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said last week.
Zeldin, a Long Island saltwater angler, last month introduced legislation in the
New York Senate (S3638) which would amend the environmental conservation law in
relation to establishing a registration system for saltwater recreational
fishing, essentially repealing that part which mandates that a fee to fish be
levied on saltwater anglers. ¬†Under the Senate Budget Resolution
passed last week, the saltwater fishing license and fee would end with the
expiration of the current 2011 license.........
RFA-NJ Says Coastal Anglers Will Fish Free in Garden State Waters in 2011¬†
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed New Jersey's free saltwater registry bill into law today, which will allow coastal anglers to register their name and phone number with the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at no cost in 2011.¬† By federal law, saltwater anglers are required to register their name and phone number with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on an annual basis in order to fish in coastal waters.¬† In November, NMFS announced that the fee for registering with the National Saltwater Angler Registry will be $15 as of January 1, a change affecting many anglers and spear fishermen in Hawaii, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"From a federal perspective, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has just put forth a historic piece of legislation that helps memorialize the public's right to free and open access to our nation's public resources," said Jim Donofrio, Executive Director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA). "While there's been a lot of public confusion over the past few months in the state regarding this legislation, and we're grateful that Governor Christie has taken the time to analyze the facts, cutting through the red tape and bureaucracy surrounding the need for a saltwater registry."
"A big thanks to Senators Jeff Van Drew and Jennifer Beck, as well as Speaker Sheila Oliver and Chairman Nelson Albano for working across party lines to make this happen for New Jersey's saltwater anglers," said Donofrio, while adding "it took legislative support to get this law passed, not to mention plenty of grassroots political action of RFA members in the state of New Jersey, the very essence of the I Fish, I Vote motto used by RFA members for nearly 15 years.".¬†
Currently, 22 of the nation's 24 coastal states are exempted from the federal registration requirements because of existing state programs which provide the necessary angler data to the National Saltwater Angler Registry.¬† The new saltwater angler registry law now requires DEP to establish a free angler registry program for the state of New Jersey, much the same as what the state of Delaware has done through their Fisherman Identification Number (www.delaware-fin.com) Donofrio said.
"We need to enhance tourism, and what better way to do it than free fishing?" said Sen. Van Drew, primary sponsor of S1122 and a driving force in getting the free registry legislation signed into law in New Jersey.
"It's symbolic. New Jersey could be a real leader on this," Van Drew recently told Shore News Today.¬† "The bureaucrats are pushing for a tax and we're saying, 'C'mon, this one time let's let the fishermen breathe.' We would gain more revenue back for the state by doing something bold to promote fishing. Think of all the bait and tackle, fishing equipment, restaurant dinners and everything else fishermen buy. A fee would damper the environment and that's not good," the senator added.