The Kill A Breeder Club

Not making quota or the weather is bad so you give commercial another day?

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) recently opted to increase the number of fishing days available to commercial striper fishermen in a given week. Per a memo from DMF director Dan McKiernan, the move was designed, for among other reasons, to give commercial fishermen greater access to striper quota and to give fishermen more days to operate in case foul weather hampers use of the smaller craft typically employed in the fishery.

The regulation bumps the previous two-day commercial fishing week to three days — Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

Stripers Forever alleged the added day serves to pressure an already taxed fishery and the minimum commercial size limit already on the books compounds this pressure.

“If DMF believes striped bass are ‘overfished, and overfishing is occurring,’” the email states, “increasing fishing pressure on the already beleaguered population at this time makes no sense. The [35-inch] minimum size limit for commercially harvested striped bass all but ensures every striped bass caught for market in Massachusetts is a breeder-sized female — the very fish on which the future of the species depends.”

LINK (via: MV Times)

One thought on “The Kill A Breeder Club

  1. I have a very fine and not show-offish, British saltwater flyfisher friend who, like myself, has long fished for European Sea Bass (the Striper’s much-smaller but still lovely, not striped but shot-silver cousin) and who, on his semi-early retirement a few years ago, moved to the southern English country of Dorset, once the great and still secure home of Britain’s bass, to fish for them. Now, a few years down the line, he tells me that the best of the Dorset bass are gone, that he hardly bothers with fishing for bass these days, and that he has been travelling every year of the past several to fish for Stripers in Massachusetts. Here is a direct quote from an email reply he sent me back in July after I had bemoaned the loss of the big bass I had once known and caught in fair numbers on bait, lure and fly in West Wales not exactly 200 years ago:

    “Oh dear. I catch the odd tiny bass when I’m fishing for mullet, but don’t bother to go after them any more. A shame, as I live a short distance from one of the (formerly) great British bass marks. I now go to Cape Cod (a trip, sadly, cancelled this year) to fish for stripers, where a halfway decent conservation policy has brought them back from the dead. Though the commercials are aggressively campaigning for restrictions to be eased. At which point I’ll probably hang up the rods altogether.”

    Got to do better, fellas.

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