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NYS sues feds on new summer flounder fishing rules

New York has again sued the federal government over summer flounder regulations that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says are based on "obsolete science" and unfairly penalize the state's recreational fishing industry.

The complaint filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn amplifies a previous lawsuit protesting the 2008 recreational rules for summer flounder, or fluke. The complaints target the federal Department of Commerce, which through the National Marine Fisheries Service sets the limits for recreational fluke fishing. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which manages fish in state waters, is also a defendant.

Both suits allege New York receives a smaller portion of the coastwide fluke catch than it should because the quota allotted to each state is based on outdated and inaccurate data. Limits for New York fishermen "are far more stringent than those for anglers based in neighboring states - who are often literally pursuing the same fish, with the same tackle," the complaint said.

Cuomo's office said the latest suit was filed to protest the 2009 rules, which took effect in June. They place the strictest limits yet on recreational fluke fishing here, truncating the season to 78 days and limiting anglers to two fish per day that are 21 inches or bigger. The 2008 suit is pending.

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