Take Action: Striped Bass Amendment 7
Weigh In Now for a Strong Striped Bass Plan
06/05/2022 Update: On May 4th, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Amendment 7. The new plan lays a solid foundation for rebuilding the stock and for ensuring prompt and effective conservation action. Read the highlights in our Spring 2022 Wild Oceans Horizon newsletter.
04/17/2022 Update: The comment period for Amendment 7 is now closed. The ASMFC Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board is scheduled to take final action on the amendment on May 4. Stay tuned for updates. Special thanks to those who took the time to weigh in!
We are in the final stretch of revising the management program for striped bass, a process that began back in August of 2020, when the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board voted to initiate Amendment 7 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan.
In spring of last year, many of you responded to our call for action and sent comments to the ASMFC, telling commissioners to rebuild the overfished population by the required 10-year deadline (2029) and to maintain important provisions in the plan, including biological reference points and objectives that stress the importance of maintaining biomass at the target level and preserving an expanded age structure in the population. Over 3,000 individuals and organizations weighed in, and it made a big difference. Most of the alternatives that would weaken the plan were removed, and new alternatives were added to deliver on the 10-year rebuilding timeline.
Now we have another bite at the apple, and we have to keep momentum strong as we head down this final stretch. A comment period for DRAFT Amendment 7 is open until April 15. Issues that the amendment addresses include management triggers, recreational release mortality, the rebuilding plan and conservation equivalency. Under each issue is a suite of options, including options that if chosen in concert, will result in a solid management plan for rebuilding striped bass and improving conservation.
However, troubling options remain with the most detrimental ones pertaining to management triggers that dictate how quickly the Management Board responds when the striped bass population is experiencing excessive fishing pressure, poor recruitment or declining biomass. Under some options, corrective action to halt overfishing can be put off for up to two years. Other options propose eliminating triggers for exceeding the fishing mortality target or falling below the biomass target altogether.
Please take moment to write to the ASMFC, or make your voice heard at one of the state hearings. Personalized, individual comments have the greatest impact.
But all comments matter. There is a lot to digest in this amendment. The letter below includes the options that we believe are the most important for rebuilding striped bass and improving conservation. You can use this form to edit our letter or send it as is.