ASMFC Presents 2023 Annual Awards Of Excellence - The Fisherman

ASMFC Presents 2023 Annual Awards Of Excellence

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) presented the Annual Awards of Excellence during the annual Spring Meeting in May 2023. DEC retired staff and current law enforcement were the recipients of the following awards for their significant contributions to fisheries management.

Scientific and Technical Contributions

Carol Hoffman (retired DEC Marine Biologist) was recognized for her longstanding scientific and technical contributions to the management of Atlantic striped bass and American eel. Her keen understanding of fishery management plans and strong analytical abilities helped to ensure that New York manages these species in consideration of both state and coastwide needs. Carol’s thorough and detailed approach to data analysis and report development has been key to maintaining New York’s high quality of work.

Her unmatched ability to meticulously remember the Commission’s procedures and timelines ensured that New York consistently fulfilled its interstate management responsibilities.
A strong communicator and dedicated team player, Carol fostered strong relationships not only within the marine district, but also with New York’s inland and Hudson River fisheries. She developed vital working relationships with her neighboring states of New Jersey and Connecticut which allowed striped bass and eel to be monitored and managed successfully on a regional level. Particularly for eel, Carol worked tirelessly to provide alternative data sets
from a citizen science group and a power plant in New York, both of which are now used to assess the species.

Not only has Carol delivered timely and accurate data analyses and compliance reports, she has also been instrumental in the extensive process of regulation formulation that supports the Commission’s mandates. Her efforts contributed to New York being an active and dedicated participant in the Commission’s fisheries management process.

Law Enforcement Contributions

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs) in Region 3 (Hudson Valley) were recognized for their efforts in the protection of the Atlantic striped bass along the spawning grounds of the Hudson River. Over the past three years, ECOs have conducted patrols of Putnam, Orange, and Rockland Counties for recreational fishery compliance inspections and dedicated resources to the protection of migrating striped bass in February and March.

During 14 dedicated patrols in 2023, ECOs issued 430 tickets for violations of striped bass regulations and other associated violations. Officers seized 184 illegally possessed striped bass during their patrols that were later donated to a local zoo. The dedicated patrols were conducted at varied times of the day and night. Officers used specialized night vision gear to aid in the detection of anglers.

Over the course of this operation, violations included fishing without a marine registration; failure to use circle hooks; exceeding the possession and size limits; and targeting striped bass during a closed season. With the opening of the season on April 1, the dedicated patrols have ended, but officers continue to diligently monitor the fishery. Through their efforts, these officers have helped to ensure that fishing regulations are upheld and the resource is given its best chance to rebuild.

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