One thought on “Striped Bass: Is Anyone Accountable?

  1. Is anyone accountable? Damn right there is or should be…………..WE ARE! Unfortunately most folks feel that 1)they are not included in the “we” and that 2) someone else or the other guy will do it. However, as has been prophesied by others, “Only the near demise of wild striped bass will spawn serious conservation measures which by then may well be too late to save the species.”

    To save wild stripers folks must wake up and accept responsibility for and demand management accountability for this recreationally valuable fishery. As things now stand wild striped bass (on the east coast) are being myopically regulated for the immediate benefit of a relatively small (in terms of participant numbers and $) special interest group of commercial and quasi commercial fishermen. This is harming the fishery. Don’t blame the fishermen, blame the managers of the fishery for allowing and encouraging this to happen. Managing stripers for their market value is to support MSY (Maximum Sustained Yield) which depletes and degrades the fishery whereas the opposite is true when managed as a game species.

    When managed as a game species, the objective is to increase the recreational experience by increasing the numbers of target fish which increases the value of the fishery itself. The greatest value in terms of both numbers of participants and economics that can be derived from this limited resource lies in the recreational sector. More fish equate to better fishing experiences which brings more money into the recreational fishing industry. This redefined “value” creates management goals designed to increase the numbers of fish not to deplete the species through MSY management practices as is happening now. Why? Because they are being valued only in terms of dollars per pound at market as a “commercial species”and not for their real and greater value as a recreational or “game species”.

    The realistic and viable action necessary to save these fish is to regulate them as a game species and get the lure of market based value out of the management equation. The accountable response to save wild striped bass is to become involved and demand they be managed as a game species.

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