The commercial fishing quota for striped bass for the region will remain the same next year and beyond. At a meeting in Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission striped bass management board voted to keep the quota the same. The commission had been poised to raise the quota.
Earlier this year the commission announced a management plan for striped bass which included relaxing fishing restrictions raising the quota up to 50 per cent. The lengthy plan published in May cited scientific data to justify allowing more fishing. A public comment period saw mixed reaction.
Last month the annual young-of-the-year index for striped bass in Chesapeake Bay was well below average for the third year.
This week the board voted 11 to 3 to keep existing restrictions. Representatives from the states of Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania, together with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service, voted not to change. Representatives from New York, Delaware and Rhode Island were opposed. The Potomac River Fisheries Commission abstained.
A second attempt during the meeting to raise the commercial quota, this time by 30 per cent, failed by a vote of 9 to 6. A third attempt to raise the quota, this time by 10 per cent, also failed.
“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 Jack Travelstead, chairman of the striped bass management board.