Atlantic States Marine
2009 Winter Meeting Summary
ATLANTIC STRIPED BASS MANAGEMENT BOARD (February 2, 2009)
The Striped Bass Management Board met to review reports on requested analyses and discuss the possibility of an addendum to Amendment 6. Following its October 2008 meeting, where discussion of an addendum was postponed due to time constraints and information needs, the Board developed a list of seven tasks for the Technical Committee and one task for the Committee on Economics and Social Sciences. The reports presented at this meeting were preliminary; final reports are expected in May. A motion to initiate an addendum based on an
analysis in the preliminary Technical Committee report was made, but failed for the lack of a majority. It is likely that the discussion of an addendum will continue in May when the final reports are due. The Technical Committee report included preliminary analyses on the following topics: the expected increase in fishing mortality from an increase in the coastal commercial quotas; conservationally equivalent recreational regulations to the current two fish at 28 inches regulation; uncertainty around terminal year fishing mortality estimates and the fishing mortality reference points; the age structure of striped bass caught in the January-
February fisheries off North Carolina and Virginia; projections of the age structure and female spawning stock biomass under increasing fishing mortality; the proportion of age 15 and older striped bass in the population under the current regulations and several alternatives; and potential error in stock assessment results resulting from the use of scale-based ages of striped bass. The Technical Committee is expected to reconvene in late March or early April to approve a final report on the analyses. During the Technical Committee’s discussion of its tasks, two additional concerns were raised that the Committee concluded should be brought to the Board’s attention. The first issue pertained to a potential bias in recreational harvest estimates due to complications in survey methodology from the proliferation of cell phone use. On behalf of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Gordon Colvin reported that this issue was being addressed in the redesign of the recreational survey. The second issue involved increasing evidence that the mycobacteriosis disease in the Chesapeake Bay could be increasing natural mortality of striped bass. The Technical Committee will continue to monitor these issues and consider their implications during stock assessment modeling.
The Committee on Economics and Social Sciences (CESS) report provided the progress to date on evaluating management’s success with fostering quality and economically viable recreational, for-hire, and commercial fisheries (an objective in Amendment 6). Based on the data and models available, the Board asked the CESS to evaluate the economic effect of striped bass fisheries in terms of expenditures, the ripple effect through the economy, and the viability of the fishery in terms of how effort, expenditures, and revenue have changed since
1995. Added to the Board’s agenda was discussion of the ongoing investigation into illegal commercial striped bass harvest, sale, and purchase in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River. Thomas O’Connell, Director of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service, reviewed the currently known aspects of the investigation, and informed the Board that the DNR has proposed regulations to improve harvest reporting and accountability measures. Because the investigation is ongoing, the Board requested another update from the DNR at the Board’s next meeting.
For more information, please contact Nichola Meserve, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at (202) 289-6400
or [email protected]
Move to initiate an addendum including options to increase the coastal commercial quotas by 10, 15, 20 and
25% and adopt a 50% underage rollover.
Motion made by Mr. Johnson, second by Mr. Calomo.
Motion fails by roll call vote (In favor: MA, NY, DE, DC,
PRFC, VA, and NC; Opposed: ME, NH, RI, CT, NJ, PA, and MD; Abstention: NMFS; absent: USFWS).