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Author Topic: STRIPER UPDATE  (Read 1523 times)

bluefinforme

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STRIPER UPDATE
« on: May 14, 2004, 05:12 AM »
Stripers Forever -

Last year, in a commentary posted on [ http://www.stripersforever.org
]www.stripersforever.org and entitled A Fraudulent Fishery, we explained
why commercial striped bass fishing in Massachusetts is not a viable
business. Our commentary showed that some 75 percent of the part-time
commercial rod and reel fishermen in the Commonwealth – commonly called
“pin hookers” – do not report the striped bass they land, and only a
handful of those who do report the catch and sale of any of the prime
breeding female fish they target are lucky to make enough money to pay for
their boat gas and other related expenses. This is indeed a fraudulent
fishery.

But the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries (MA DMF) isn’t
listening. Responding to pressure from pin hookers, the DMF is considering
cutting back the commercial bag limit on striped bass from 40 fish per day
to 10 fish on Sundays and 20 fish from Monday through Wednesday. The pin
hookers hope this change in the commercial regulations will raise the
price of striped bass and make the season last longer.

Stripers Forever feels strongly that this reasoning is ambiguous and
seriously flawed. Our commentary on the proposed changes in the commercial
striped bass regulations is outlined on our website – [
http://www.stripersforever.org ]www.stripersforever.org - along with
various MA DMF graphs and statistics. One graph shows that as the
commercial striped bass quota has increased, landings have risen
dramatically and the value of the landed catch has dropped in proportion.
The market price dipped to an average of $1.64 a pound last year, and the
MA DMF says that it will go a lot lower if the seasonal glut of bass on
the market continues.

So the MA DMF is considering lengthening the season, reducing the daily
limit, to raise the price that pin hookers get for striped bass. That
strategy sounds very much like price fixing to us. A reduced daily limit
on commercially harvested stripers will do nothing to conserve fish; in
fact, it will stretch out the commercial season and make it even easier
for the illegal “under-the-table” cash sale of stripers to proliferate.
This fishery, which accounts for more than 60,000 prime breeding-size
stripers every year -- stripers that are lost to the thousands of anglers
who support a multi-million dollar recreational fishing industry in The
Commonwealth -- is managed for a comparative handful of privileged
individuals, most of whom pay for their fishing trips by selling their
catch.

What to do about this deplorable situation? Stripers Forever feels it is a
waste of time to appeal to MA DMF officials who are the proven
cheerleaders of commercial striped bass fishing. Instead, we urge you –
indeed, we implore you  - to ask Governor Mitt Romney to make the policy
decision to end all commercial fishing for striped bass in Massachusetts.
The New England Action Alert section on the website tells you how to do
this. Follow the simple Action Alert plan by writing to the Governor and
copying your state senator and congressman.

With your help, we can make the striped bass a game fish. 

Brad Burns Stripers Forever
               

 



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