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License Plate Announced to Boost Striped Bass Conservation

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration announced Massachusetts is now offering a new specialty license plate available through the Registry of Motor Vehicles to promote conservation of striped bass, which are an important and iconic fish synonymous with the Massachusetts coastline. The plate was custom designed by Cape Cod artist, Janet Biondi, and depicts a striped bass in pursuit of alewives, one of its favorite forage species. The striped bass license plate is now available to all motorists who are registering a vehicle in the Commonwealth. For motorists who already have a vehicle registered and want this new plate, they can visit Mass.Gov/myRMV to order one.

“Striped bass is the premier game fish in Massachusetts marine waters and an important component of our commercial fishery,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The purchase of these specialty license plates will enhance efforts to conserve and restore striped bass, river herring, and other marine fisheries that are vital to the Commonwealth’s coastal ecology, economy, and culture.”

After a campaign by the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) and Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) to gather support for the plate through pre-registrations, the plates are now being issued to approximately 900 pre-registrants. Like all specialty plates, the cost to the motorist is $40 every two years, in addition to the cost of a standard passenger plate every two years. This is the fourth specialty plate in Massachusetts that is offered by the MET including the right whale plate, the brook trout plate, and the Blackstone Valley plate.

“I want to thank the Registry of Motor Vehicles, the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, the Division of Marine Fisheries, and the many members of the public who supported this initiative from the beginning,” said DFG Commissioner Ron Amidon. “We look forward to the visibility the license plate will provide for striped bass and river herring, and the enhanced programming for marine fisheries conservation.”
“The RMV is pleased to add this new plate type to the Commonwealth’s inventory of special plates,” said Registrar Colleen Ogilvie. “We have made it easy to get the striped bass license plate as it can be ordered online and then will be mailed to the customer.”

The disbursement of the funds for the striped bass plate will be overseen by a review panel that includes striped bass experts from DMF, academia, a conservation organization, and recreational and commercial fishermen. Additionally, funds will be used for new grants and programming that supports studies and conservation initiatives, including studies of striped bass populations, stock structure, movements, and local ecology; habitat improvements to enhance passage of diadromous fish (e.g., river herring, eels), thereby enhancing forage for striped bass; studies of angler practices to improve hook-and-release survival; and angler education to improve the conservation of marine fisheries resources.

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