Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged the Trump administration to address quotas that are having adverse impacts on New York's commercial fishing industry.
In a letter sent Tuesday to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Cuomo requested changes to summer flounder quotas. The allocations, he wrote, are based on "incomplete data" from the 1980s. The state gets 7.6 percent of the limit, while New Jersey and Rhode Island have quotas that are more than double New York's allocation.
"Other states have access to as much as three times New York's quota, causing an inequitable distribution that injures the state's economy and prevents fishermen from feeding their own families," Cuomo wrote. "These outdated allocations have devastated fishermen, and will continue to impact the subsequent generations of New York's commercial fishers."
Cuomo's letter was released two months before the start of joint meetings between the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Both panels, along with the Department of Commerce, could address New York's summer flounder quota.
The governor said he asked the agencies to address the allocations before, but no action was taken.
If the upcoming meetings don't lead to a "dramatic increase" in the quotas for New York, Cuomo said the state will pursue legal action.
"I cannot allow self-interest to grind this process to a halt, while an entire industry suffers as a result," he wrote. "Regulators cannot continue to manage this fishery in a manner devoid of equity and flexibility."