Fisheries Service is Scoping Changes to Commercial Striped Bass Fishery
Regulatory and Administrative Changes are on the Table
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is working to achieve a series of core management principals in each of its fisheries. These are:
Sustainability Harvest Accountability Enforceability Cost Recovery
Sustainability refers to the ability of the fishery to endure over time; to remain productive and viable both biologically, ecologically and economically. To ensure sustainability in Maryland’s commercial striped bass fishery, it is essential that all harvested striped bass are accurately accounted for through harvester and check station reports. The rules and requirements that DNR implements to ensure harvest accountability must be functionally enforceable with significant consequences for non-compliance. Finally, to be economically sustainable, the commercial fishery must support itself by ensuring that costs for management and enforcement measures are covered by the watermen themselves.
The Department has determined that the commercial striped bass fishery in the Maryland portion of Chesapeake Bay is not currently meeting these management principals. In February of 2011, Maryland experienced significant levels of illegal commercial fishing activity for striped bass. More then 26,000 pounds of fish were confiscated from illegally set gill nets. DNR is also concerned that measures to ensure harvest accountability are not sufficient to prevent the filing of inaccurate reports by check stations or by individual fishermen. Furthermore, there remains substantial mis-use and illegal application of striped bass tags.
As a result of this evaluation, the Department is planning to implement both regulatory and administrative changes to the commercial striped bass fishery. Ideas for changes in both of these categories are listed below. Given public scrutiny of the striped bass commercial gill net fishery, it is the Department’s goal to have regulations effective when the gill net season opens on December 1, 2011.
The Department presented these ideas to Maryland’s Tidal and Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission in mid-July, and is now seeking broader public input through this web posting. Specifically, the Department is interested in learning about any concerns surrounding each idea; and about issues that we may have missed.
Please submit comment by August 10, 2011. Comments may be submitted using the electronic email link on this website, by email directly to email@example.com, by fax at 410-260-8310, or by mail to Striped Bass, Regulatory Staff, MDNR Fisheries Service, 580 Taylor Ave.B-2, Annapolis, MD 21401. Based on public comment received, a regulatory proposal will be prepared, and is scheduled to be submitted to the General Assembly’s Administrative, Executive, Legislative Review Committee (AELR) on August 17, 2011. A formal public comment period will follow submission of the regulatory proposal.
Click here to view Regulatory and Administrative Ideas.
To view the information presented to the DNR Striped Bass Industry Workgroup and to the Sport and Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commissions, please click here.