The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is asking the public to comment on changes to the fisheries management plan intended to help the struggling striped bass population.
The plan to rebuild the striped bass population isn't likely to meet a 2029 target. The public comment period that closes on December 22 seeks input on new changes to the coastwide management plan that follow an ASMFC emergency action enacted earlier this year. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) urges those who care about striped bass and the health of the Chesapeake Bay to make their voices heard.
A variety of factors including low reproduction, water quality challenges, recreational fishing pressure, and climate change have all contributed to the striped bass population decline. While the population has not reached the low point of the 1980s that led to a fishery moratorium, the decline in striped bass numbers continues to spark widespread concern here in the Chesapeake Bay region.
The ASMFC must take strong action to rebuild the striped bass population. Earlier this year, the ASMFC voted to implement an emergency action to decrease the maximum size limit for most striped bass fisheries to 31 inches.
The fisheries management plan up for public comment, known as Draft Addendum II, proposes new recreational bag and size limit options, includes a quota reduction for commercial fisheries, and gives decision makers the ability to respond faster to striped bass assessments. Citizens can send public comments through CBF's action alert.
Public comments will be accepted until 11:59 PM EST on December 22 and can also be sent to Emilie Franke, FMP Coordinator, at 1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, Virginia 22201; or at [email protected] (Subject line: Striped Bass Draft Addendum II).
More information can be found at this ASMFC press release.
CBF Virginia Executive Director Chris Moore issued the following statement.
“The striped bass population continues to struggle, and we can’t ensure its comeback without strong action by the ASMFC. This public comment period is a critical opportunity for anyone with a stake in striped bass to speak out to help protect and rebuild the population.”
“Draft Addendum II includes a number of options that will help reduce fishing pressure and support goals to rebuild the striped bass population. Anyone who cares about the iconic species should weigh in during the ASMFC’s fishery plan public comment period.”