Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission will meet this week and discuss the establishment of a"hook and line" commercial fishery for striped bass in North Carolina coastal waters inside the three mile limit.  Outside the three mile remains under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

The CFRG sent the following position on the proposal for inclusion in the public record.  You will note we are advocating the establishment of a "rod and reel" fishery.  Hook and line could result in long lines being used to catch stripers, something we are opposed to.

CFRG Position on Rod and Reel Commercial Fishing for Striped Bass

The CFRG favors the proposal before the Marine Fisheries Commission for consideration to adopt a "rod and reel" commercial fishery for striped bass. We believe the following requirements should be met when adopting new regulations.

1. The rod and reel should be allowed as an approved commercial gear for taking striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean.

2. The rod and reel should replace the currently allowable method of trawling for striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean.

3. The current commercial striped bass quota for trawling in the Atlantic Ocean should be transferred to rod and reel.

4. Only those persons holding a Standard Commercial Fishing License who also held a special striped bass ocean

fishing permit at some point during the last three years should be eligible to use rod and reel as commercial gear for striped bass harvest in the Atlantic Ocean.

5. Strict daily limits for taking and possessing striped bass with rod and reel should be adopted based upon recommendations of fishery biologists of DMF and strictly enforced. The season quota should replace the current quota for trawling and be set by Division of Marine Fisheries biologists in conjunction with any federal requirements for harvesting these fish, with a goal of maintaining healthy and sustainable populations of striped bass.

6. The present fees of licenses and permits for commercial harvesting and sale of striped bass are too low and should be increased to at least pay the cost of administering this special fishery. Striped bass are a valuable state resource for North Carolina and should be treated as such by increasing fees for all applicable licenses and permits.

Joe Albea

Coastal Fisheries Reform Group