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Striped Bass Fishery Managers Deliver Cautious Good News

The fishery managers responsible for steering the Atlantic coast’s rockfish population to safe levels announced some positive news—something we haven’t heard lately in relation to rockfish.

On Tuesday the Striped Bass Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) accepted an updated stock assessment by its Technical Committee (TC), which finds the population looks promising enough that no additional harvest cuts will needed to be made. (Different conservationists have, at times, called for a striped bass fishing moratorium).

The bad news first: The stock assessment finds that in 2021, the rockfish stock was still overfished but no longer actively experiencing overfishing.  The female spawning stock biomass was estimated to be 143 million pounds, below the 188-million-pound threshold at which fishery managers must take action. However, ASMFC’s committee notes that the female spawning stock has, at least, been trending modestly upward for the past three years.

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