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PRESS RELEASE

JOINT STRATEGIC MEETING ON STRIPED BASS

August 25, 1997 Philadelphia, PA


Sponsored By:

American Sportfishing Association, Jersey Coast Anglers Association, Coastal Conservation Associations

Groups Attending:

American Sportfishing Association, Jersey Coast Anglers Association, Maine Coastal Conservation Associations(CCA), New Hampshire CCA, Massachusetts CCA, New York CCA, Virginia CCA, and Maryland CCA, New York Sportfishing Federation, Sea Party Coalition, United Boatmen of New York & New Jersey, Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Philadelphia Federation on Sportsmen’s Clubs, Homesburg Fish and Game, Connecticut/Rhode Island Coastal Fly Fishers, The Fisherman Magazine, United Sportsmen of Philadelphia, and Penn Fishing Tackle


The purpose of this meeting was to discuss Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Addendum II to Amendment 5 of the Striped Bass Management Plan. The goal was to establish a consensus between recreational user groups and to develop an alternative option for regulations for 1998 and 1999 to present to the ASMFC Striped Bass Management Board. None of the proposals currently in the ASMFC Addendum II Public Hearing Document were acceptable to the assembled group.

After presentations by fisheries scientists and discussions with the members of the ASMFC Technical Committee and staff, all the groups present, with the exception on the New York CCA, reached agreement on the following proposed regulatory option for 1998 and 1999 fishing seasons in an effort to meet the conservation goals of the plan while maintaining equity between coastal and producer areas and without damaging the recreational fishery.

Producer areas

Recreational bag limits will be frozen at two fish per day with a minimum length limit of 20 inches, or conservation equivalent. This will remain in effect for both recreational and commercial groups.

Commercial harvest in the producer areas capped at 1997 quotas.

Coastal areas

Recreational bag limits will remain at two fish per day.

One fish will be a slot fish of between 20 and 26 inches and one greater than 28 inches. The first fish retained will determine the length of second fish. (Example: First fish kept is 23 inches falling in the 20-26 inches slot size limit, therefore the second fish kept must be greater than 28 inches.)

The ASMFC technical committee will be asked to run the numbers associated with this option to ensure that this proposal will reduce the mortality of larger fish by the 1.3 million pounds recommended and will stay within the mortality targets established for 1998 and 1999.

Any additional mortality reductions required after the "numbers are run" would be shared by both coastal commercial and recreational anglers proportionally.


For Immediate Release
(September 5, 1997)

An Open Letter To All Recreational Fishing Advocacy Groups, Clubs and Individual Anglers

The next round of striped bass regulations, quotas, bag and size limits are being developed now. The proposed options from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission are unacceptable and recreational advocacy groups came together to develop a working plan that we can bring to the upcoming public hearings. The participation of as many recreational groups, clubs and individual anglers at these public hearings, all demanding this new option be adopted is the only way we will prevail. If we do not unify behind this proposal, recreational anglers will be at the mercy of the ASMFC options. Please read this release and study the proposal. It is simple, meets the conservation objective and must be implemented. Only by working together and taking a proactive position in the management of striped bass will we receive equitable treatment and fair regulations.

The summit was held on August 25, 1997 in Philadelphia which brought together representatives of 19 recreational fishing advocacy groups from Virginia to Maine that share a common interest in the continued restoration of the striped bass stocks and the fair and equitable distribution of the allowable harvest to maintain the recreational fishery coastwide.

The groups discussed the options presented in a public hearing document published by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for debate on Addendum II to Amendment 5 of the Striped Bass Management Plan, which will set the harvest goals, commercial quotas and recreational size and bag limits for coastal and producer areas. The options in the document were deemed unacceptable so the groups set about hammering out specifications that will meet the conservation goals of the plan without placing undue restrictions on the harvest of fish for coastal fishermen, while producer areas are permitted to harvest at higher bag limits and commercial quotas.

The results are contained on the following page. They were accepted and approved by all but one advocacy group in attendance, the New York CCA, and if implemented, will maintain parody between coastal and producer area fishermen, both commercial and recreational, without causing a reduction in the recreational coastal bag limit.

You must attend the public hearing near you and demand that this proposal be adopted. We will be presenting a letter to ASMFC Striped Bass Board at their meeting on September 30. If your group or organization wishes to sign on to this letter or for additional information contact: Tom Fote at Phone 732-270-9102, Fax 732-506-6409 or Email <tfote@JCAA.org.>. In New Jersey Contact Mike Burke JCAA Striped Bass Chairman at 732-398-1935.

For additional information on this subject and other states hearing dates check out our September Newspaper and meeting dates at the JCAA Home page <www.JCAA.org>

NJ Public Hearing September 16, 1997; 7:00 PM, Ocean County Administration Building Room 119 Corner of Washington St. and Hooper Avenue State Contact: Bruce Freeman (609) 292-2083