LI fishermen claim DEC ruling on fluke fishing is unfair

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MATTITUCK -

Many Long Island fishermen are upset about the changes coming to commercial fluke fishing.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is stopping commercial fluke fishing for about two weeks starting this Sunday.

A DEC spokesperson says the temporary halt to fluke harvesting is to preserve fish levels for the fall.

When fishing resumes, there will be a harvest limit of 50 pounds per day.

Commercial fishermen say boats from other states come to the waters off New York and take home thousands of pounds of fluke a day. They are calling the ruling unfair, and hope state and federal lawmakers can agree to ease regulations.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-District 1) says he was able to get the House to pass the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. According to Zeldin, the bill improves federal fisheries law so that regulations and quotas can be more transparent, equitable and fair.

“The reality is…that we have fishermen in my district who are desperate to survive,” says the congressman.

The news was positive for some fishermen, but they say they've heard promises like that before. They say they will believe it when they can legally catch more fish in New York.

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