October 2, 2014

CSF Weighs in on Striped Bass Management

On Tuesday, September 30, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) submitted comments to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) on the future of striped bass management as guided by the Atlantic Striped Bass Interstate Fishery Management Plan.

Recently, fisheries managers up and down the Atlantic Coast have been reporting reduced striped bass abundance, which is likely the reason for reduced harvest figures of 19 percent from 2008. Abundance is one of the key features for managing a successful recreational fishery that provides diverse social, economic, and conservation benefits to our society. Following the moratorium on fishing for striped bass in the 1980s, recreational anglers and state fish and wildlife agencies played a pivotal role in rebuilding the stock. Recent projections show that it is now necessary to take corrective measures in management strategy so that the stock can rebound quickly and the ASMFC’s highly successful model of Atlantic striped bass management continues to benefit all anglers along the East Coast.

Specifically, CSF supports reducing fishing mortality by 25 percent in 2015, as this approach will realize the highest probability that fishing mortality will be brought to its target level in the shortest time possible. CSF further recommends the reduction be applied to both the commercial and recreational sectors, and that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission continues to afford states, through “conservation equivalency proposals,” the flexibility to manage their fisheries that use the best available data, meet the needs of their commercial and recreational sectors and ensure the necessary harvest reduction is achieved.

To read CSF’s official comments on Draft Addendum IV, click here.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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