The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service is making a significant management change to the commercial Chesapeake Bay striped bass fishery. DNR is working to meet fishing industry goals, create a more sustainable system, increase accountability and make it easier for police to enforce the law.
The system will also comply with new Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) requirements. These changes are the result of extensive meetings with the Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission's Striped Bass Industry Workgroup over the past 18 months.
The proposed change is the allocation of individual quotas to fishing permit holders based on their striped bass catch histories from 1 January 2001 through 29 February 2012. New regulations will impact striped bass permit holders fishing in 2014.
DNR has set a cutoff (control date) of 10 May 2013 as the date when a waterman with a record of catching striped bass must possess a commercial striped bass permit in order to be eligible for a 2014 allocation.
"There are watermen who participated in the striped bass fishery in the 2001 to 2012 period but no longer have a striped bass permit. There are also watermen working with a temporary transferred permit who have accumulated a catch history, which could justify a quota allocation for them under the new management programme," said Mike Luisi, director of DNR Fisheries Estuarine and Marine Division.
"It's important that these watermen understand that their catch history will not be considered if they don't possess a striped bass permit on 10 May."
"We are asking that any permit owner or potential buyer considering a permanent striped bass permit transfer after 10 May consult with us before committing to a sale. We want fishermen to be well informed regarding the allocation impacts when making this business decision," said Luisi. [email protected] www.fis.com