Thursday, November 11, 2010

Addendum II to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass

The ASFMC Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum II to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Addendum revises the definition of juvenile recruitment failure based on a recommendation from the Striped Bass Technical Committee. The Management Board approved status quo management for the coastal commercial quotas, which were being considered for an increase as part of the Addendum.

"After lengthy deliberation, the sense of the Board was that recent fishery trends do not warrant an increase in fishing mortality, commercial or recreational, at this time," said Board Chair, Jack Travelstead. "The Board also accelerated the assessment schedule, requesting an update assessment in 2011 prior to the next benchmark assessment in 2013 to more closely track changes in the fishery and the resource."

According to the council, the proposal to increase the coastal commercial quota was intended to bring more parity between the commercial and recreational fishery sectors.

Amendment 6 established management programs for both fisheries based on the same target fishing mortality rate. The coastal commercial fisheries are controlled by quotas whereas the coastal recreational fisheries are managed through possession and size limits. Because of the difference in control methods, the recreational harvest has increased with expanding striped bass population levels, and now accounts for approximately 70 percent of total harvest.

The board cited several reasons for electing to maintain the existing coastal commercial quotas, including:

 -  a 66 percent decline in estimated recreational catch from 2006 to 2009
 -  a 25 percent decline in estimated striped bass abundance from 2004 to 2008
 -  several years of below-average production of fish from the Chesapeake Bay

source: ASFMC

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