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CCE PRESS CENTER

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
For more information contact:
Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, 516-390-7150, 631-384-1378 (mobile), aesposito@citizenscampaign.org

CCE SAYS NO TO 5 YEAR LOBSTER MORATORIUM

Lobster Moratorium Threatens Historic Maritime Tradition in Sound & Threatens Jobs, Local Economy

Farmingdale, NY —The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is recommending a five year ban on harvesting lobsters from Cape Cod, MA to Cape May, NJ. Citizens Campaign for the Environment strongly opposes this ban and is advocating for more reasonable, sustainable restoration efforts by federal and state agencies.

“A five year moratorium is draconian and should ONLY be used as an action of last resort not the first step towards restoration,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “If our federal agencies worked collaboratively with NYS and CT and the lobsterman, we could shape a plan that allows lobstermen to continue the essential role they play in LI Sound. Frankly, it is our view that federal inaction helped get us to the critical junction but now, we need federal action to move us in the right direction.”

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will be hosting a meeting this evening at 6:30 pm at their offices in Setauket. CCE will oppose this ban and will urge the NYDEC, CTDEP and ASMFC to develop a reasonable, sound-wide management plan that works with the Lobstermen, not destroys a significant maritime culture.

CT launched a v-notch program in 2006 where lobstermen notched female lobsters’ tails in a v-shape. The lobsters were then thrown back until the notch grew out—giving the females more time to spawn and lay eggs. The lobstermen were than paid for any caught and released notched lobsters. The program never launched in NY—a severe drawback since lobsters do not understand state boundaries. CCE has been advocating a federal program involving both NY and CT to help the species recover.

“Rather than destroying the livelihood of our lobstermen, we should be seeking other solutions that have yet to be implemented on a local, state, and federal level,” stated Brittany Ferenz, CT Program Coordinator, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, “CCE has been advocating for federal assistance in setting up a Sound-wide v-notch program, and now is the time for our federal representatives to get it going.”

“The lobstermen are to the sea, as the farmers are to the land. We would never tell the farmers to get off their land for five years and we shouldn’t be removing the lobstermen from the sea,” stated Esposito. “The federal government hasn’t even attempted to assist in restoration efforts and now the only policy offered is one to destroy lobstering in Long Island Sound. We can do better. Let’s craft a 21st century management program, not an archaic ban.”

For a copy of CCE’s testimony please call our office at 203-785-9080 or 516-390-7150

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Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE) empowers communities and advocates solutions for our shared environment and public health and is supported by over 80,000 members throughout New York State and Connecticut. www.citizenscampaign.org

updated by seckel  7/13/10