Advocating for Atlantic striped bass

Advocating for Atlantic striped bass

Our comments to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

by Save The Bay Narragansett Baykeeper Mike Jarbeau

On April 12, 2022, Save The Bay submitted comments to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission regarding a proposed amendment to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic striped bass. The amendment in question, Amendment 7, proposes changes to striped bass regulations that would account for new scientific understanding and the current health of the fishery. The last such update, Amendment 6, was approved in 2003.

Striped bass play an important role in ecosystems along the Northeastern coast, including Narragansett Bay, so our comments include suggestions that protect the species’ health and population. Our comments included our:

  • Support for retaining many of the existing management triggers that require ASMFC to react quickly to data related to the health of the striped bass stock. When used properly, these measures mandate management action to give the fishery time to recover and rebuild. They also maintain maximum timelines for rebuilding plans and promote responsiveness in responding to emerging science.
  • Support for measures that prohibit recreational anglers from using destructive devices like gaffs that significantly reduce survival when releasing striped bass, and measures that prohibit fish from being kept if caught using unapproved gear or methods. We support continuing outreach and education efforts to keep fishermen informed of regulations and best practices.
  • Support for stock rebuilding measures that provide significant buffers for science and management uncertainty, giving the fishery a greater chance to recover. This includes limiting the state use of “conservation equivalency,” which basically allows states to create their own so-called equivalent regulations, as much as possible.

Read our Complete Comments Here