Tag Archives: Black sea bass

Mass. Environmental Police Seize 384 Pounds of Black Sea Bass in Harwich

On Saturday, August 24, 2019, an Officer on patrol in the vicinity of Wychmere Harbor in Harwich observed an individual loading fish pots into the rear of a pickup truck. Further inspection found the individual, who was commercially permitted, to be in possession of 384 pounds of black sea bass on a closed commercial fishing day. The entire catch was seized and the individual was criminally summonsed for failure to display catch, landing black sea bass on a closed commercial day, and over the limit possession of black sea bass. >click to read<  13:57

Rep. Zeldin Blasts NY’s ASMFC Delegates for Failure to Deliver for NY Fishermen

Today, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) blasted New York’s delegates to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) following the conclusion of this month’s spring meeting, during which no progress was made in rectifying New York’s already inequitable quotas for species across the board, including Black Sea Bass, Striped Bass and Fluke. >click to read<19:10

Assessment Oversight Panel (AOP) meeting for Monkfish, Scup, Bluefish, Black Sea Bass, May 20, 2019,

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center would like to inform you of the 2019 stock assessments.,,, There will be several sets of assessments conducted this year, and the assessment process begins for Scup, Bluefish, Black Sea Bass, and Monkfish on Monday May 20, 2019 with a panel review of scientific information and assessment plans (details below). After this plan review, the assessments will be conducted and later peer reviewed in 2019. Attend In Person, >click to read< or online, >click to register<13:59

Scup, Bluefish, Black Sea Bass, and Monkfish – 2019 Fisheries Stock Assessments

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center would like to inform you of the 2019 stock assessments. During these assessments we will use existing models and data sources to evaluate stock health. Our data come from a variety of sources, including recreational and commercial fishermen, fish dealers, fishery observers, and research surveys. There will be several sets of assessments conducted this year, and the assessment process begins for Scup, Bluefish, Black Sea Bass, and Monkfish on Monday May 20, 2019 with a panel review of scientific information and assessment plans (details below). After this plan review, the assessments will be conducted and later peer reviewed in 2019. >click to read<09:49

How eating sea bass and crab can help Maine lobstermen

A group of Rhode Island fishermen who witnessed southern New England’s near-shore lobster fishery evaporate and its offshore fishery diminish dramatically in their time on the water came to last month’s Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockland to give lobstermen here a bit of seasoned advice: Embrace ecosystem change while you’re in a good position to do so.,,, “As the poster child for a fisherman who has had to adapt to sea change, I can tell you that black sea bass represents a huge opportunity,” said Norbert Stamps, a Barrington, Rhode Island-based offshore lobster fisherman. Even if fishing for black sea bass is only done on a small scale, Stamps said, it can make an impact. >click to read<09:58

Black sea bass gobbling up lobsters

Black sea bass, a saltwater fish taken commercially and recreationally in Massachusetts, have increased in number throughout southern New England waters and rattled the lobster industry with their wolfish appetites. “They feed aggressively,” Rutgers University marine biologist Olaf Jensen said. “They’re not picky eaters. If it’s the right size and it’s alive, they’ll eat it.” The young of New England’s iconic crustacean fall into the right size category. “Black sea bass love little lobsters,” Michael Armstrong, assistant director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, said. That’s of deep concern to Beth Casoni, president of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association, who says lobster traps are being pillaged by these fish. >click to read<18:41

Open Season: It might be time to ‘seal’ a deal to help fishermen

According to local lobstermen, the fishing in Buzzards Bay suffers a lull in the heat of late summer but usually picks up again around Thanksgiving when the water cools. But that’s not the case this year, according to my own experience. I have a recreational lobster license, which allows me to run up to ten pots with a stipulation that the lobsters can’t be sold. I run those ten pots in the Bay from spring through December and fished them as late as mid-January last year, but I hauled them for the season on Tuesday. It stopped being fun. For November and early December, my harvest was less than half of what I caught last year during the same period. Some say that the increase in ocean temperatures, due to climate change, is chasing the lobsters North to colder waters but it’s my opinion that the populations of lobsters, like any other wildlife species, are cyclical with highs and lows. Wildlife numbers are never stagnant. >click to read<18:33

Scientists say black Sea bass behavior could be affected by offshore wind

Scientists from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center say that offshore wind energy construction could affect the behavior of Black Sea Bass. Black Sea Bass live up and down the east coast from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico, providing a significant ecological and economic importance. The fish are also attracted to structurally complex habitats, often found around rocky reefs, mussel beds, cobble and rock fields, and artificial habitats like shipwrecks. Scientists, commercial and recreational fisherman have expressed their concerns about how the sounds that come with the development of offshore wind energy overlapping with the natural habitats of Black Sea Bass. >click to read<09:37

Black sea bass surge off R.I.

Scientists tell us that some fish will be winners and others losers as oceans warm. In Rhode Island, count lobster, silver hake and winter flounder among the losers, their numbers plummeting as climate change drives water temperatures higher. On the list of winners so far are squid, summer flounder, butterfish. And black sea bass. The population of the dusky-colored fish with striking blue accents has historically been strongest off the mid-Atlantic Coast, but over the past decade or so its numbers have spiked off New England and it is becoming a more important catch for the region’s fishermen. How they are managed will have important implications not only for those fish but for lobsters and other key species in the ocean ecosystem. >click to read<12:30

Scientists say Maine’s lobster boom won’t last. Here are the fisheries coming next

In southern New England, many fishermen have turned their attention to species such as Jonah crab and black sea bass, the numbers of which have increased as ocean temperatures warm and as lobster in the region have become more scarce. Maine’s lobster landings remain near historic highs, but some say the changes that have occurred south of Cape Cod are inevitable in the Gulf of Maine. “I know it’s a hard concept to get around, but it’s going to happen,” Norbert Stamps, a Rhode Island fisherman, told a roomful of other fishermen at the Maine Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport in March. “It seems as the lobster declined [in southern New England], the crab increased. And sea bass are everywhere.” >click to read<10:43

Rep. Zeldin Statement in Opposition to Black Sea Bass Quota “Deal”

“This ‘deal’ is no victory for New York fishermen and is worse than status quo with other states receiving an increase. New York continues to roll over for the ASMFC while New York fishermen get screwed. I will not pull the wool over the eyes of hardworking New York fishermen and claim victory. Any deal on behalf of New York fishermen needs to place them on a level playing field with New Jersey and Connecticut, and this deal, cementing a quota cut for local fishermen in comparison to other states, is not equitable. I will not accept anything less than what New York fishermen, both recreational and commercial, deserve – parity.” >click to read<21:13

Fisheries commission to vote on NY black sea bass appeal

An interstate fisheries commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on New York’s appeal for a less stringent quota on locally abundant black sea bass. New York recreational fishermen and women could face a 12 percent reduction in the allowable catch for black sea bass this year under a federal mandate.,, DEC commissioner Basil Seggos said the state was “willing to go to the bear cage” to fight the planned reductions, including filing suit and going into noncompliance on the rules if the federal government did not act. The state has made similar demands to change New York’s share of the commercial fluke quota. >click to read<08:20

2018 Mass. DMF fishing regulations go into effect April 20

The Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) has enacted new regulations, which were informed in part by this winter’s public hearings. The regulations were reviewed and approved by the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission at its March 15 meeting, and go into effect on April 20. The most substantive change is an adjustment to the open commercial fishing days for black sea bass. The new open commercial fishing days are Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.,, The commercial black sea bass season will begin on Tuesday, July 10.,, During the inshore small-mesh trawl squid fishery, April 23–June 9, trawlers will be allowed to retain a 50-pound bycatch limit of black sea bass. >click to read<18:00

BLACK SEA BASS – THE NEW “WAR BETWEEN THE STATES”

On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, signifying the end of the U.S. Civil War. One hundred and fifty-three years to the day, north and south are set to do battle yet again, this time over sea bass. From April 30 through May 3, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASFMC) will hold its 2018 spring meeting in Arlington, VA, a city that was once the dividing line between Confederates to the South and the Union Army to the north during the bloodiest war in U.S. history. >click to read<12:41

Fishing quotas on black sea bass draw lawmakers’ ire

New York lawmakers on Sunday pushed back against federal fishery quotas and regulations that reduce the amount of black sea bass fishermen can catch in the upcoming season. “New York State needs to take an immediate stand against the unfair black sea bass allocation coming out of the ASMFC [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission] by issuing its own fair and equitable quota and going into what is formally known as noncompliance,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said Sunday at a news conference with fishermen in Patchogue. “Going into noncompliance is never the first option, but at this late hour it may be the only one.”>click here to read< 18:09

Black sea bass quota reduction for N.Y. has local lawmakers up in arms

The decision last month by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to reduce New York’s black sea bass quota by 12 percent this year has anglers, state environmental regulators and local lawmakers up in arms. “This action discriminates against the State of New York. It would have a significant adverse effect on the Long Island economy,” State Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) and Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) said yesterday in a joint statement.  New York has joined Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut in an appeal,,, >click to read<09:12

Proposed 2018 regulations on black sea bass and other commercially targeted fish covered at DMF public hearing.

With no proposed changes in conch fishing regulations on the agenda, the annual Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) winter public hearing on proposed regulations was a relatively collegial gathering. A baker’s dozen of Island fishermen and stakeholders gathered at the Katharine Cornell Theater on Monday morning to weigh in on the potential changes the DMF is looking to implement in 2018. The main topic of conversation was changes to regulations for the commercial black sea bass fishery. >click to read< 19:00

Hearings set for changes to black sea bass fishing

Interstate fishing managers are holding hearings in East Coast states about a plan to change the rules about one of the Atlantic Ocean’s most popular recreational fisheries. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering changing the way it manages the recreational black sea bass fishery. The commission says the proposed changes could alter the way it allocates harvesting limits for the fish. The hearings began on Wednesday in Lewes, Delaware. click here to read the story 13:31

More fluke, less sea bass, but no difference for frustrated CT commercial fisherman under 2018 quotas

East Coast fishermen will be allowed to catch more summer flounder and not as much sea bass as last year, under new quotas proposed by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. But Stonington fisherman say the effects of the changing quotas will be nominal, and they will continue to advocate for an overhaul of the quota system, which they say has been unfair for decades. click here to read the story 21:54  

Losing hope for lobster south of Cape Cod

Tom Tomkiewicz remembers when there were so many lobster traps in Buzzards Bay it looked as if he could walk across the water on their buoys. Now, the 42-year-old lobsterman and his dwindling number of colleagues have to set their traps far out to sea, well beyond view of the coast, to catch the few lobsters that remain. “There’s nothing here,” said Tomkiewicz, one of only 35 Massachusetts lobstermen who still have permits to fish in the state and federal waters that stretch from Nantucket Sound to Long Island Sound. “It’s crazy.”,,, The steep decline has left regulators in a quandary click here to read the story 21:20

D.E.C. Ticketed Montauk Anglers for Dumping Fish

Marine enforcement officers from the State Department of Environmental Conservation, on patrol in Montauk Harbor on Aug. 31, saw what they estimated was hundreds of pounds of fish being thrown overboard from a Montauk party boat and wound up ticketing eight people, including the boat’s captain, Keith Williams. According to a D.E.C. spokeswoman, the officers approached the 75-foot Fin Chaser, based on Star Island, and ordered the anglers to stop what they were doing. Their orders were ignored, she said. The party boat’s customers were cited for possessing too many black sea bass and porgies, undersized black sea bass and summer flounder, and for failure to stop dumping upon command. click here to read the story 08:25

NY Commercial fishermen reeling from shutdown of fluke fishery

It was the busy Labor Day Weekend, and Southold Fish Market owner Charlie Manwaring had been forced to stock his popular East End restaurant and market with out-of-state fluke for the first time in recent memory. “This is my backyard, and on a holiday weekend I have no fluke,” he complained to Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) at a meeting Friday morning with two dozen angry Long Island fishermen and women at the Mattituck fishing dock. “I have to rely on Rhode Island and Jersey and Massachusetts and Carolina.”. “The fluke paid our bills,” said Cindy Kaminsky, who fishes commercially out of Mattituck.,,, “Nobody’s been willing to stand up and say to lawmakers, ‘You need to make this fair to New York fishermen,’ ” said Southampton attorney Dan Rodgers of New York Fish, an advocacy group. click here to read the story 17:42

Warming oceans: fish on the move

The oceans are getting warmer, and fish are adapting to rising ocean temperatures with their fins and swimming to waters that better suit their temperature preferences. Shifts in the distribution of important coastal fish species are resulting in changes to historical fishing options, new fishing opportunities and new fisheries management challenges.,, These northern shifts in fish populations have presented fisheries management challenges. Coastwide or regional Fisheries Management Plans (FMPs) are used to manage all of these species, but these FMPs have not always kept up with the changing distribution of these species. Take summer flounder and black sea bass as examples. click here to read the story 10:51

Black sea bass poachers on Buzzards Bay return with the season

Harbormaster and shellfish employees waded knee-deep in the Wareham River last weekend, fetching dead, floating fish and dropping them into black plastic trash bags. Each fish would serve as evidence. An angler had spied Environmental Police seizing 225 black sea bass from another boat and dumped his own illegal catch to avoid arrest. On the same sunny Sunday, beach-goers snapped cellphone pictures of boats that buzzed to the shoreline to drop off coolers, which Wareham Harbormaster Garry Buckminster believes were filled with illegal fish. The boats then motored back offshore to catch more. Its really a wild west in some of these areas, Buckminster said. Black sea bass season had officially begun. click here to read the story 09:12

Recreational Fishermen caught with nearly 300 more black sea bass than allowed

On just the second day of the black sea bass fishing season, two boats of fishermen were caught by harbormasters with nearly 300 more of the black sea bass than allowed in the recreational limit. The Wareham Harbormaster Department alerted the Massachusetts Environmental Police to the two boats on Sunday at the Tempest Knob Public boat ramp. When officers inspected the first boat, which had four people aboard, they found multiple coolers that contained 225 more black sea bass than the recreational limit allows, Environmental Police said. Fifty-nine of those fish were smaller than the 15-inch limit. That boat also had 98 more scup than legal possession limit, as well as two undersized tautog and one 17-inch striped bass. Click here to read the story 17:25

NMFS – Revised black sea bass quotas for the 2017 fishing year and projected specifications for 2018.

NMFS proposes revised black sea bass specifications for the 2017 fishing year and projected specifications for 2018. In addition, this rule proposes to remove an accountability measure implemented at the start of the fishing year designed to account for commercial sector overages in 2015. Updated scientific information regarding the black sea bass stock indicates that higher catch limits should be implemented to obtain optimum yield, and that the accountability measure is no longer necessary or appropriate. This action is intended to inform the public of the proposed specifications for the 2017 fishing year and projected specifications for 2018. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. local time, on May 1, 2017. continue reading the notice here 10:38

MAFMC & ASMFC Set Black Sea Bass Specs for 2017-18 – Benchmark Assessment Finds Resource Not Overfished & Overfishing Not Occurring

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) have approved revised specifications for the 2017 black sea bass fishing year as well as specifications for the 2018 fishing year for the Northern black sea bass stock (Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to the US-Canadian border). The revised specifications are based on the results of the 2016 benchmark stock assessment, which found the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. The approved limits are consistent with the recommendations of the Council’s Science and Statistical Committee. The Commission’s actions are final and apply to state waters (0-3 miles from shore). The Council will forward its recommendations for federal waters (3 – 200 miles from shore) to NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Administrator for final approval. Read the rest here 11:23

New Effort Underway To Study Black Sea Bass In Southern New England

bsb_malerecThe Commercial Fisheries Research Foundation is kicking off a new project to collect data on black sea bass, a species that has moved north in search of cooler water. Catch limits for black sea bass in New England are a small compared to the Mid-Atlantic states, where the fish are typically found, according to Anna Malek Mercer, the foundation’s executive director. That means New England fishermen are throwing back very large quantities of black sea bass, she said. And it’s a highly valuable species. “So this will fetch at the dock between $4 and $7 a pound,” said Malek Mercer. “It’s super important in that way. Really could begin to fill some of this economic void caused by the downturns in things like ground fish and southern New England lobsters. ” The project will enlist Rhode Island fishermen to collect data on black sea bass. Read the story here 16:29

MAFMC and ASMFC Actions on Black Sea Bass, Bluefish, Scup and Summer Flounder

10.summer-flounderLast week the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission) reviewed previously implemented specifications for scup, black sea bass and bluefish fisheries and modified specifications for summer flounder. The Commission’s actions are final and apply to state waters. The Council will forward its federal waters recommendations regarding summer flounder specifications to NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Administrator for final approval. For summer flounder, both groups approved a commercial quota of 5.66 million pounds and a recreational harvest limit of 3.77 million pounds for 2017, an approximate 30% decrease from 2016. This decrease in catch and landings limits responds to the findings of the 2016 stock assessment update, which indicates summer flounder has been experiencing overfishing since 2008. Read the rest here 12:06

A dwindling North Fork fishing community urge emergency measures to keep black sea bass season open

riverhead june closure of the black sea bass seasonAbout a dozen of them met at a Mattituck marina Thursday to vent their frustration at the measure, which one fisherman said would reduce his income by 80 percent. Meanwhile, the state’s top fishing regulator wrote a letter to federal fisheries managers urging them to expedite an assessment to improve the data upon which local quotas are based. State regulators are pushing federal regulators to fix the problem. In a May 17 letter to top federal fishing regulators, Basil Seggos, acting DEC commissioner, noted the fishery has been rebuilt since 2009, yet fishermen “continue to struggle under low catch limits and restrictive measures while black sea bass appear to be more abundant than in any time in recent history.” Read the story here 14:41