Following an emergency action setting new limits on the striped bass fishery, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is holding four virtual hearings this month to seek input from the public. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) urges those who care about striped bass and the health of the Chesapeake Bay to make their voices heard.
While striped bass struggle to recover from a dramatic decline, recreational fishing pressure on striped bass along the Atlantic Coast in 2022 was nearly double that of previous years. On May 2, the ASMFC voted to implement an emergency action to decrease the maximum size limit for most striped bass fisheries to 31 inches. The ASMFC also voted to initiate a new Addendum intended to reduce mortality in both the recreational and commercial fisheries by considering changes to recreational size limits, season closures, and maximum size limits.
CBF supports these actions by ASMFC to aid the comeback of this iconic fishery. The ASMFC virtual public hearings will be held via webinar at the following times:
- Wednesday, May 17, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.;
- Monday, May 22, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.;
- Tuesday, May 23, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and;
- Wednesday, May 31, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
CBF Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist Chris Moore issued the following statement.
“We are at a pivotal point that will determine the future of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic Coast. Just as the striped bass population struggles to recover, recreational fishing pressure is increasing. Considering the increase in recreational fishing over the past several years and high reported catches, especially by New England anglers, these numbers point to a need to move in a more conservative direction.
“Everybody with a stake in a healthy striped bass fishery should attend these ASMFC public hearings and speak in favor of continued decisive action to protect and rebuild the striped bass population.”