New York State lawmakers on Monday pushed for $10 million to help develop a seafood fisheries conservation plan that could help protect the state’s oyster and clam fisheries from overfishing.
The legislation, dubbed the Oyster and Clam Conservation Plan, is part of a $15 billion package approved by the Legislature on Monday to help restore fisheries and address the state economy.
New York Gov.
Andrew Cuomo has been advocating for a $50 million investment in the seafood industry and for more federal funding to help shore up the industry.
But some lawmakers have called for an even larger investment.
The bill includes a variety of seafood projects, including $2.6 million to expand the state marine life survey and $1 million to support a research project on the impact of seafood imports on the state.
Other lawmakers are pushing for a new fisheries management plan that would require seafood processors to post data on the types of fish they raise and harvest, and how they raise it.
That information would be shared with the Department of Environmental Conservation to help guide the agency’s assessment of the state seafood market, Cuomo said.
The Assembly and Senate also approved a bill to increase state funds to help fishermen with the cost of fishing permits.
The measure, sponsored by Assemblyman James Ewing, D-Staten Island, would increase the state food stamp benefit for fishermen by an average of $400 per year, a significant amount for a state with about 1.2 million people.
It also includes an increase in the food stamp program to provide for food assistance for up to 20,000 people.
Other seafood bills that passed included:A bill to prohibit the state from using the state-run oil and gas registry to track seafood imports and exports.
The bill, S-726, passed in the Assembly on Monday.