Three New York Towns Oppose Commercial Fishing Licenses

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y., Oct. 1 (UPI) — Officials from three New York towns say their communities should be exempt from a state law requiring saltwater fishing licenses due to colonial patents.

Newsday reported officials from Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island and the state Department of Environmental Conservation will argue their positions at an Oct. 13 hearing in Central Islip, N.Y.

The town officials argue original colonial patents gave town trustees the authority to regulate marine resources, not state officials.

Town trustees suspect the fishing licenses are an attempt by the state to assume control power from local officials who were granted authority before the United States was created.

“We’re all about history,” Southampton town trustee Edward J. Werner Jr. said. “We’ve protected our history down through the years … . It’s a pretty cool thing to do.”

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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