The following release updates  striped bass management planning:

Atlantic Striped Bass Board Approves Draft Amendment 7 PID for Public Comment

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved for public comment the Public Information Document (PID) for Draft Amendment 7 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Striped Bass. As the first step in the amendment process, the PID seeks input from stakeholders and those interested in striped bass about changes observed in the fishery/resource and potential management measures.

The last time a new plan amendment to the Atlantic Striped Bass FMP was adopted was in 2003 (Amendment 6). Since then, the status and understanding of the striped bass stock and fishery has changed considerably which raises concern that the current management program no longer reflects current fishery needs and priorities. The results of the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment in particular led the Board to discuss a number of prominent issues facing striped bass management. Consequently, the Board initiated the development of Amendment 7 in August 2020.

The purpose of the PID is to solicit stakeholder input on prioritizing the importance of each topic for continued development and potential inclusion in the Draft Amendment. The PID considers the following management topics: (1) fishery goals and objectives; (2) biological reference points; (3) management triggers; (4) stock rebuilding targets and schedule; (5) regional management; (6) management program equivalency (conservation equivalency); (7) recreational release mortality; (8) recreational accountability; (9) coastal commercial quota allocation; and (10) other issues raised in public comments.

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide input on the PID either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment. It is anticipated that states from Maine through North Carolina will be conducting public hearings, likely in a virtual format, in March and April 2021. A subsequent press release will provide the details of those hearings. The Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board will meet at the Commission’s 2021 Spring Meeting in May to consider public comment and provide direction to staff for items to be included in Draft Amendment 7.

The PID is available at http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/StripedBassAm7PID_PublicComment_Feb2021.pdf or via the Commission’s website, www.asmfc.org, under Public Input. Public comment will be accepted until 5 PM (EST) on April 9, 2021 and should be forwarded to Emilie Franke, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite 200A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: Striped Bass PID). For more information, please contact Emilie Franke, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at efranke@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

The IGFA 37th International Auction has added new items as it heads to a conclusion on Feb. 13 at 6:30 p.m. Go to their web site to take a look and bid on some real bargains.

The maritime forecast is for west winds at 15-20 knots plus gusts to 30. However, with the west direction, the Ocean Explorer from Belmar is planning to sail Saturday for jumbo blackfish.                            

                        

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