Anglers Advocate for Conservation, Enhanced Data & Climate Change Tools

Capt. John McMurray of One More Cast Charters, NY testified last Wednesday before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife.

Anglers, guides, charter captains and fishing industry leaders met in Washington, DC recently to push to maintain strong conservation measures in our national fishing law, the Magnuson-Stevens Act (MSA). Provisions such as allowable catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (fish sectors making up the difference if they overfish) are MSA provisions that have helped rebuild over 40 fish stocks since the year 2000.

Anglers advocate in Washington, DC: Capt. Dave Monti, No Fluke Charters, RI; Todd Corayer, South Kingstown, RI writer and kayak fishermen; Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge, Middletown, RI; and Capt. Ian Devlin, East Norfolk, CT.

Anglers advocate in Washington, DC: Capt. Dave Monti, No Fluke Charters, RI; Todd Corayer, South Kingstown, RI writer and kayak fishermen; Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge, Middletown, RI; and Capt. Ian Devlin, East Norfolk, CT.

The group of anglers visited the offices of senators and congress members advocating for enhanced data (possibly through electronic recording) and for providing fish managers with enhanced climate change tools to manage species that have migrated as water has warmed.

Peter Jenkins, owner of the Saltwater Edge outfitters in Middletown, RI and board chairman of the American Saltwater Guides Association said, “Our aim is to run sustainable businesses through conservation and keep the conservation measures in our national fishing law strong.”

In other Washington, DC fishing news this past week, Capt. John McMurray of One More Cast Charters in Oceanside, NY and president of the American Saltwater Guides Association testified before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife on Wednesday. McMurray said, “Conservation provisions contained in the current version of our national fishing law reduced the number of stocks being overfished from 92 to 38 since 2000. According to NOAA Fisheries recreational participation and seafood landings are up as a result and that’s because conservation provisions increased access by making more fish available to more people.”

Striped bass in tough shape, fish managers take action

The Striped Bass Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) announced recently that they plan to reduce striped bass total removals (commercial and recreational harvest, including dead releases) by roughly 17 percent.

The 2018 Atlantic Striped Bass Benchmark Stock Assessment indicates the resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing relative to the updated reference points defined in the assessment. Female spawning stock biomass (SSB) was estimated at 151 million pounds, below the SSB threshold of 202 million pounds. Despite recent declines in SSB, the assessment indicated the stock is still significantly above the SSB levels observed during the moratorium in the mid-1980s.

The Draft Addendum that aims to reduce harvest will explore a range of management options, including minimum size and slot size limits for the recreational fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and along the coast, as well as a coastwide circle hook requirement when fishing with bait.

The Draft Addendum will be presented to the Board for its consideration and approval for public comment in August. If approved, it will be released for public comment, with the Board considering its final approval in October for implementation in 2020.

A more detailed description of the stock assessment results is available on the Commission’s website.

About Dave Monti

Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing for over 40 years. He holds a captain’s master license and a charter fishing license. He is a vice president of the RI Saltwater Anglers Association, an active member of the RI Party & Charter Boat Association and a member of the RI Marine Fisheries Council.

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