Wednesday, November 15, 2023

11.15.23 NJ/PA ASMFC public hearing brings out 106 people....

     So tonight was the first public hearing on Addendum II to Amendment VII. It was held virtually but the next one will be in person. Plus there's write in submissions due by December 22nd. There's a few options and I vote for the following-

3.1.1 Ocean Recreational Options - Option B keeping the 28-31"  slot limit we have now. While it hammers down on the 2015 year class it's the best option. However a 30-33" option was one for consideration.

3.1.2 Chesapeake Bay Recreational Options - Option B1- Chesapeake fishery 19-23 " fish. The Chesapeake is a hot mess. The environmental conditions are horrific. They have more regulations for that fishery and you would need a map to figure it all out. Closures. Trophy seasons. Fish down to 18". 

3.1.3 Commercial Quota Reduction Options - Commercial B- Commercial fishery should take a 14.5% reduction in harvest

3.3 Response to Stock Assessment - Option B- The board can act quicker when triggers are discovered rather than having addendums to amendments. 

      During the question period I offered the questions and maybe more of comments-

- Why do for hire boats fall under recreational mortality numbers? Commercial operations are in fact commercial, money for fishing. A head boat with 50 anglers falls under the rec category. 

- Circle hooks? The continued use of snag and drop fishing is still in effect. I let the cat out of the bag regarding the use of multiple circle hooks used to snag and drop. 

- Do the regulations and the slot hammer down on the 28-31" which are the 2015 year class which we are looking to protect? As would the proposed 30-33" slot that was proposed? 

- And for kicks I asked what the mortality would look like if we just allowed boats and commercial fishing in the EEZ, which is 3 miles out and beyond. That would be something. 

     There will be another public comment, in person, before the public comment closes in December. Tonight there were 106 people in the meeting from New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There's more out there that complain daily about the state of striped bass. MAKE SURE you at least send in your written public comment stating your choices to the above four options.