New measures to protect striped bass being eyed for the fall.

Fishermen were given the floor at a meeting of the civilian Marine Resources Advisory Council in Setauket to suggest and opine on measures to limit so-called discard mortality — essentially the unintended killing of fish that are too small or over the limit of the one fish at 28 inches that anglers are allowed to keep in a season that starts April 15 through December 15. Suggestions included everything from banning surfcasting and commercial fishing nets to requiring hooks that limit damage to fish. The measures were alternately greeted by heckles or applause from the standing-room-only crowd of chiefly fishing boat captains and anglers from across Long Island. “The whole problem is dead discards from the recreational fishery,” said commercial fisherman John German of Brookhaven, who criticized the “inhumane” practice of catching fish with barbed hooks. “You eliminate that you’d be in fine shape.” >click to read<

One Response to New measures to protect striped bass being eyed for the fall.

  1. Ec Newell Man says:

    Just to give everyone a heads up on Mark Harrington of Newsday, article. This piece has already been updated 4 times at this very hour of the day, as we have pointed out a number of inaccuracies in the perception on what occurred during the NYS DEC meeting at the Seatucket Bunker. Mark was in the audience and should have been aware that this was not a striped bass issue of commercial vs for-hire vs recreational fishermen.

    In fact, it was noted by many stakeholders who spoke that this is NOT an instance where the striped bass stock is trending downward due to commercial harvest – as we noted it is a recreational sector issue with the targeting of the largest striped bass and more troubling, with the high rate of regulatory discards (releases) with the associated mortality.

    We at the NY RFHFA spoke during the public comment period which addressed recent and current fishery behavior and practices committed by recreational fishermen who believe that catch & release of multiple fish, light line fishing, the dragging of striped bass through the sand along the shore (‘breading of sand’ on the fish which removes the protective fish slime coat) and the use of treble hooks with the striped bass then released, causes mortality which is counted against the whole recreational sector.

    As per SAW/SARC 66 and the technical meetings, recreational dead release mortality now compromise 48 percent of total coastwide removals, six percent higher than recreational harvest. We have found this article extremely troubling in portraying what transpired during the meeting, and we have put forward proposals during this meeting to immediately address and hopefully lessen the impact of release mortality in the recreational sector with striped bass. That should have been highlighted and emphasized with this Newsday article.

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