Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, who is striped bass fishing today, announced he has signed a law to prohibit the taking of striped bass from the Hudson River for commercial purposes, extending a ban that has existed since the 1970s.
"This law benefits both public health and the vibrant recreational fishing industry that is an important part of the local economies along the Hudson River. I thank Senator Grisanti and Assemblyman Abinanti for sponsoring this legislation," Governor Cuomo said.
The law prohibits the taking of striped bass for commercial purposes from the Hudson River located between the George Washington Bridge and the federal dam in Troy. Striped bass fishing is popular among anglers and the Hudson River is New York's main spawning ground for striped bass, attracting many recreational fishermen each year. Because of PCB contamination, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation currently bans consumption of fish from approximately 40 miles of the Hudson from Ft. Edward downstream to Troy and also bans most commercial fishing in the entire river. The New York State Department of Health also advises children and women of childbearing age against eating any fish from the Hudson River. The legislation further ensures that striped bass with possible PCB contamination are not commercially sold, while also helping maintain the striped bass population in the Hudson River for recreational fishing. The law takes effect in 120 days and will sunset on April 1, 2015.
Senator Mark Grisanti said, "As a major tourist draw and popular fishing destination, the Hudson River benefits local towns and villages as well as recreational anglers. With PCB contamination still evident among striped bass in the Hudson, it is important that we extend the ban on commercial fishing to protect public health and the striped bass population. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this law that will benefit consumers, fishermen, and the striped bass ecosystem."
Assemblyman Thomas Abinanti said, "Fishing for striped bass in the Hudson River has been a favorite pastime for New Yorkers for decades and with this signing Governor Cuomo is ensuring striped bass populations are protected for recreational use only. Extending this ban will continue to protect New Yorkers from the sale of potentially contaminated fish and allow anglers to continue to enjoy the striped bass fishing experience."