ASMFC Approves Addendum for Striped Bass – Increases Commercial Quota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MAY 6, 2010
PRESS CONTACT, TINA BERGER, 202/289-6400

ASMFC Striped Bass Board Approves Draft Addendum II for Public Comment

42may09-flatsratAlexandria, VA – The Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board has approved Draft Addendum II to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass for public comment. The Draft Addendum proposes two changes to the striped bass management program: (1) an increase in the coastal commercial quota, and (2) revising the definition of recruitment failure based on Technical Committee advice.

The proposal to increase the coastal commercial quota is intended to improve equality between the commercial and recreational fishery sectors. Although Amendment 6 established management programs for both fisheries based on the same target fishing mortality rate, the implementation of state-specific quotas for coastal commercial harvest (and not for recreational harvest) has prevented the commercial and recreational fisheries from responding equally to changes in striped bass population size. Since 2004, coastal commercial harvest has decreased by 3.6 percent, while recreational harvest has increased by 13.7 percent. Under the option, the Board would select a percent increase to be applied to the coastal commercial allocations assigned in Amendment 6.

The Management Board voted to include a second issue in the Draft Addendum based on information presented at the meeting. As part of its review of the juvenile abundance indices, the Striped Bass Technical Committee recommended to the Management Board a revision to how striped bass recruitment failure is defined. Juvenile abundance indices are an important component of the striped bass monitoring program and are used to determine periods of recruitment failure which can trigger management action under Amendment 6. Adopting the proposed recommendation would result in a fixed value to determine recruitment failure in each surveyed area rather than a value that changes from year to year. Use of either the Amendment 6 definition or the Technical Committee recommendation for recruitment failure does not result in any necessary changes to the current management program.

It is anticipated that the majority of states will be conducting public hearings on the Draft Addendum. A press release will be issued once the details of the hearings have been finalized and the Draft Addendum is available for public comment. For more information, please contact Nichola Meserve, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator at (202) 289-6400 or nmeserve@asmfc.org.

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Mark N. Cahill has been writing and editing for Reel-Time.com since 1995. He started fishing in the mid-1960's and caught his first striper off World's End in Hingham in 1966. From there on in it was an obsession. He loves fishing for tuna, and fly fishing for striped bass. In a pinch, anything with fins will do...

Posted in Conservation News, Lead Article
5 comments on “ASMFC Approves Addendum for Striped Bass – Increases Commercial Quota
  1. Dear ASFMC/Striped Bass Management Board:

    I am not in favor of increasing commercial allotment of striped bass without a further stipulation. This stipulation should be that the SIZE/WEIGHT of the target fish be regulated rather than the overall weight of the quota. Removal of larger 34-50 inch fish from the spawning biomass is deterimental to the species as a whole.

    The science of managment should be able to make recommendations for safe removal of a certain amount of fish according tot he availability/abundance of each size class. If no smaller can be identified that will allow for safe removal, there should be no commercial OR recreational take on any given year(moratoriums are appropriate under such circumstances for both sectors).

    Both recreational and commercial sectors need to be given the guidance that ensures the overall spawning success of the species as well as the benefit of catching the larger fish.

    The second amendment option should be approved if conservative in estimating the threshold for recruitment failure.

    Sincerely,

    Stephen Schillinger
    Marblehead, MA 01945

  2. avatar Charles Foster says:

    THERE ARE NO JUVENILES, THERE ARE NO SPAWNING FISH EITHER. A COMPLETE STOP OF COMMERCIAL FISHING IN NEW ENGLAND AND A MINIMUM SIZE OF 38- 40 INCHES SHOULD BE SET FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS. ASK ANYONE IN NEW ENGLAND, THESE FISH ARE IN TREMENDOUS TROUBLE FROM OVER HARVESTING
    AGAIN !

    HAVING DIFFERENT BAG LIMITS IN EVERY STATE ON THE ESTERN SEABOARD IS HUGE MISTAKE AS WELL,

    THE OCEAN SHOULD BE FEDERALLY MANAGED, ONE FISH 38-40 INCHES, 5 YEARS
    THE LOCAL MERCHANTS CAN TELL YOU, THERE ARE MANY, MANT FEWER FISH THAN 5 YEARS AGO WHEN SIZE LIMITS WERE REDUCED, ITS RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!

  3. avatar Kevin Sheehan says:

    “The proposal to increase the coastal commercial quota is intended to improve equality between the commercial and recreational fishery sectors.” It is not logical to bring equity to the program by allowing both sectors to overfish and equally destroy the fishery. Wouldn’t it make more sense to reduce the recreational quota to reach equality? My fishing buddies and I would be happy with a one fish limit.

  4. avatar Bill Hubbard April 5, 2010 says:

    Some good ideas above but, Addendum II will be discussed at Public Hearings and, the only items allowed for discussion will be as stated in the public notice. That will be (1) increase in coastal commercial quota and (2) revised definition of recruitment failure.

    If you have ever attended a public hearing under ASMFC rules on an addendum or an amendment you know that no items not specifically stated in the official notice of meeting can be allowed into the official record.

    If you care about the future of Striper stocks, please plan to attend the public meeting in your state and speak out or leave a paper stating you position on the two items above. Your voice will only be heard on those issues if you do that.

  5. avatar Robert Chatillion says:

    Striper stocks are shrinking. Recreational and commercial fisheries should both have their quotas significantly reduced before it is too late.

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