Commercial Fisherman Plead With State Consultant For License System Overhaul

The young men who work the decks of Hank Lackner’s dragger, Jason & Danielle, spend up to three weeks at a time far over the horizon from their homes in Montauk, toiling in heat and high seas. “My crew just spent 13 days at sea, working 20-hour days—these are true commercial fishermen,” Mr. Lackner told a consultant who has been hired by the state to craft new licensing guidelines at a meeting in Southampton last week. “They spend 200 days a year on my boat, they don’t have a lot of chances to get out. They shouldn’t be eliminated from this process. We don’t want them to go away. We have to figure out a way where the [landings of] trips they worked gets them some kind of credit for being on the boat.” For years, young commercial fishermen have been stalled from setting out on their own by the state’s embargo on issuing “new” licenses, and by inflexible rules for transferring existing licenses from those who are leaving the industry to those trying to get in. >click to read<10:58

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