In another step towards rebuilding the striped bass population, an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) panel today voted to begin the next update to the striped bass fishery management plan by approving the Public Information Document for Amendment 7 (PID) for public comment. The PID asks for the public to weigh in on a variety of topics including the biological reference points that provide the guardrails for management of the population, how long it should take to rebuild the population, how to reduce release mortality in the fishery, and the allocation of striped bass between the commercial and recreational fisheries.
Adult female striped bass numbers, widely used to gauge the overall health of the population, have fallen approximately 40 percent from 2013 to 2017. As a result, the ASMFC reduced the striped bass harvest along the Atlantic Coast by 18 percent last year.
The ASMFC is now implementing a larger overhaul of the striped bass fishery management plan to guide decisions in the coming years, known as Amendment 7. The ASMFC’s Striped Bass Management Board today opened the update to comment by approving the public information document.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist Chris Moore issued the following statement.
“The extreme drop in the striped bass population is a major concern for the health of the Chesapeake Bay. In CBF’s 2020 State of the Bay report, the striped bass score plummeted 17 points, the largest drop in any indicator in more than a decade. We need bold actions to make sure we don’t lose this iconic Chesapeake species.
“Fortunately, ASMFC’s approval of the PID is another important step towards rebuilding the striped bass population over the long term. Now is the time for everyone who cares about striped bass to get involved in the process, from anglers to businesses to conservation organizations. We all must weigh in during the public comment process to ensure the best possible plan for the recovery of striped bass.”
The public is encouraged to submit comments regarding this document during the public comment period. Comments must be received by 5:00 PM (EST) on April 9, 2021. Information is provided in the PID on how to submit comments.