The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council just wrapped up their meeting in Boston and voted not to put a reduction in striped bass mortality out for public comment. Read this article from the Baltimore Sun and see if you agree with the comments about those of us in New England advocating that we manage this fishery based upon "emotion". Do you find yourself scratching your head at the comments from the rep from the Maryland Charter Boat Association? Can you believe that those of us who make our living by running striped bass charters can have such disparate positions on how to manage this resource? The stock assessment reports for this year are wonderful news but wouldn't a moderate reduction in mortality help ensure that the fish spawned this spring make a significant contribution to the breeding population in five years? A reduction in striped bass harvest is only one step that we need to take, but it is an important one and a simple one to achieve through regulation change. The Maryland Fisheries Service Director is right about one thing...not the last we've seen of this issue.
Capt. Peter Fallon