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ASMFC Atlantic Striped Bass Board Approves Addendum II

Establishes Measures to Continue Progress Towards Stock Rebuilding

Arlington, VA – The Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum II to Amendment 7 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Addendum modifies recreational and commercial measures to reduce fishing mortality in 2024, establishes an expedited response process to upcoming stock assessments, and addresses requirements for recreational filleting. Addendum II builds upon the 2023 emergency action by changing the measures in the FMP to reduce fishing mortality and support stock rebuilding. Addendum II measures will replace the emergency action measures upon its implementation by the states by May 1, 2024. 

“First and foremost, thank you to the 2,000 members of the public who submitted public comments. The Board had difficult issues to discuss, and public comments were a crucial part of the deliberations,” said Board Chair Megan Ware from Maine. “The Board remains focused on rebuilding the stock by 2029. The upcoming 2024 stock assessment will be an important checkpoint on progress toward rebuilding.”

For the ocean recreational fishery, the Addendum implements a 28” to 31” slot limit, 1-fish bag limit, and maintains 2022 season dates for all fishery participants; this maintains the same ocean recreational measures adopted under the recent emergency action. For the Chesapeake Bay recreational fishery, the Addendum implements a 19” to 24” slot limit, 1-fish bag limit, and maintains 2022 season dates for all fishery participants. For the commercial fishery, the Addendum reduces commercial quotas by 7% in both the ocean and Chesapeake Bay.

To address concerns about recreational filleting allowances and compliance with recreational size limits, the Addendum establishes two requirements for states that authorize at-sea/shore-side filleting of striped bass: racks must be retained and possession limited to no more than two fillets per legal fish.

To enable an expedited management response to upcoming stock assessments prior to the 2029 rebuilding deadline, the Addendum establishes a mechanism allowing the Board to respond to a stock assessment via Board action if the stock is not projected to rebuild by 2029.  

States must submit implementation plans by March 1, 2024 for Board review and approval, which will take place at a special Board meeting to be scheduled for later in March. All Addendum II measures must be implemented by May 1, 2024. 

Addendum II will be available in February on the Commission website at http://www.asmfc.org/species/atlantic-striped-bass under Management Plans and FMP Reviews. For more information, please contact Emilie Franke, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at efranke@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.

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