The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ 2014 Stock Status Report reclassifies the Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock from “viable” to “concern,” due to biological factors associated with a declining population.
The division annually grades the status of important marine finfish, shellfish, shrimp and crabs as viable, recovering, concern, depleted or unknown. The grades serve as a barometer of the overall health of the state’s fishery resources, and they are used to prioritize development of fishery management plans.
While a 2010 stock assessment concludes the stock is not overfished, several population trends have prompted concern about the status of striped bass fishery. Since 2002, the number of young fish entering the population has declined, causing a steady decrease in landings from the peak harvest in 2004. A new Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock assessment is scheduled to be approved in August, and reductions in harvest limits likely will be necessary.
Striped bass in North Carolina are managed by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and data collected by both agencies are used to assess the status of the stocks. Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan was approved by both commissions in 2013.
Stocks exhibiting declining landings may be classified as “concern” even if they have an approved stock assessment and fishery management plan, as is the case with the Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock.
The stock status of all other species remained the same as the 2013 report.
The complete 2014 Stock Status Report can be found at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/stock-status-reports.
For more information on the 2014 Stock Status Report, contact Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734, ext. 222 or Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov.
source: N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources