ASMFC Striped Bass Stock Assessment

Scientific advice presented to the Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board indicates that striped bass management under Amendment 6 to the Interstate Plan continues to be a success. The benchmark stock assessment, recently endorsed by an independent panel of fishery scientists, concluded that striped bass are not overfished and overfishing in not occurring.

The project estimates that the striped bass spawning stock biomass totals about 55 million pounds, well above the target and threshold levels set by the plan. Abundance of juvenile striped bass was estimated to be strong, with young fish from the 2003 spawn being the strongest class.

Total striped bass harvest (commercial and recreational) in 2006 was estimated at 3.82 million fish, a 46 percent increase from 2002 (prior to the implementation of Amendment 6). Maryland dominated the commercial harvest, with commercial fishermen taking 1.05 million fish. Maryland’s share of the total commercial landings was 62%. Commercial discards in 2006 were estimated at 216,753 fish.

The study reports that recreational anglers harvested 2.77 million fish and had discard losses 2.07 million fish, accounting for for 79 percent of total fishery removals in 2006. Maryland recreational fishermen harvested the highest number of fish with 24 percent of total recreational landings in number, followed by Virginia (22 percent), New Jersey (18 percent), Massachusetts (12 percent), and New York (11 percent).

Copies of the stock assessment will be available on the Commission website (www.asmfc.org under Breaking News) by mid-February. For more information, please contact Nichola Meserve, Fisheries Management Plan Coordinator, at (202)289-6400 or <nmeserve@asmfc.org>.

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