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Old 08-25-2009, 12:18 PM
Mark P's Avatar
Mark P Mark P is offline
The Artist Formerly known as Jackbass
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Central MA
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Exclamation Important Please Read

recently the ASMFC decided to send out for public comment a proposal to allow the uncaught commercial striped bass quota from one year (the "underage") to be added to the following year's quota and caught then. We think that this is simply pandering to commercial interests and not at all in the best interests of the striped bass fishery. Pasted in below is the letter that Stripers Forever is sending to all members of the ASMFC Striped Bass Management Board. We strongly urge you to send a similar email to the board members who represent your state. All board members will have a vote on this subject whether or not their state still allows commercial striped bass fishing.

Here is a link to the ASMFC website - note that we have avoided making a "hot link" to keep our e-mails out of the spam filters. On the left side of the home page select "Managed Species", and then"striped bass" and then "Management Board" on the lower left of the page that comes up. Then choose "Atlantic Striped Bass Board" in the left column. The page that comes up lists all members of the Striped Bass Management Board. It is a bit disorganized but you should be able to find the representatives from your state. Each of them has an email link next to their name. We suggest that you send your e-mail to each of your state representatives, and that you send a copy to your governor's office. You can get the contact information for your state governor from our website at This all sounds a bit daunting, but it is actually very easy and very important.
Brad Burns



Mr. John V. OíShea Executive Director
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

This letter is to state on behalf of our board and membership Stripers Foreverís opposition to the proposed rollover of the commercial striped bass quota. Here are the reasons we think the rollover is a poor policy:
The commercial striped bass seasons are not three-day events. Sufficient time exists to catch the quotas unless the fishing simply is not good enough in a given year. There could be many reasons, including that the biomass is not as healthy as the ASMFC estimates. Considering the decline in the NMFS just released recreational catch statistics, we feel that this is very likely the case.

The ability to increase next yearís quota by failing to report a fully caught quota this year will actually encourage commercial fishermen to under report their catch.

Quotas canít simply be stockpiled. For one thing, populations of fish are not static. Something like 20% or more of the fish that make up one yearís quota will die of natural causes during the next year. Fisheries such as bluefin tuna have been managed into the ground with quota rollovers.

It is unlikely there is any such thing as a commercial quota underage with striped bass. The large black market fishery for striped bass is well known and has been repeatedly documented by arrests and convictions. The ASMFC has never tried to estimate this illegal catch and count it towards the current commercial quotas.

Instead of trying to find ways to justify the killing of more striped bass, the ASMFC should concentrate on improving and expanding the far more socially and economically valuable recreational striper fishery. The best way to do this is to kill fewer striped bass not more.


Brad Burns, President
Stripers Forever
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