5/12/2003 For Immediate Release
Contact Brad Burns
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association June 2003 Newsletter)
Stripers Forever, a new free membership organization devoted to achieving game fish/personal use status for the migratory striped bass on the Atlantic Coast, has posted a website on the internet. The address is www.stripersforever.org .
The Stripers Forever website reports that some 3 million recreational anglers spend an estimated $1 billion every year pursuing the striped bass, making it the most popular saltwater rod and reel fish from Maine to North Carolina. Striped bass are already managed as game fish for personal use in seven Atlantic states. But because stripers are highly migratory, the commercial fisheries in the other seven Atlantic states have a significantly negative impact on the entire resource coast wide.
Coastal commercial harvesters zero in on mature, prime breeder bass, making it increasingly difficult for even the most skilled anglers to catch a large striper anywhere on the Atlantic Coast.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), a federally mandated group, oversees the management of striped bass in each coastal state. In February of this year, the ASMFC approved a major increase in the coast-wide commercial harvest of stripers, despite strong disagreement by many state fisheries managers and recreational anglers. Stripers Forever feels there are not enough striped bass in the Atlantic to provide both a high quality public recreational fishery -- and the considerable social and economic benefits that go with it -- and a commercial harvest that serves only as a seasonal market commodity.
A federal bill, HR 1286, has been introduced in the current legislature by Congressman Frank Pallone (D, N.J.) to make the striped bass a gamefish for personal use only throughout its range along the Atlantic Coast. The Stripers Forever website offers detailed information on how anglers and other interested persons can take action at the state level to support this bill
For more information, select Contact Us on the front page of the Stripers Forever website.