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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found the following on a Maryland message board. The following link will be to the actual thread. Thank God Stripers are Gamefish in NJ:

Rockfish Slaughter
I work at one of the major wholesale fish companies in the Chesapeake Bay area and I'm shocked at the number of Rockfish brought in EVERYDAY that are completely full of eggs....I'm not sure of the total pounds, but we bring in pallets of fish on a daily basis, thousands of pounds, that are full of eggs....these fish range between 20 and 50 inches......Between this and the ridiculous catches that go on off the coast of Virginia every year there is no doubt in my mind that Rockfish are in big, big trouble.....I never even remotely had an idea how many rockfish are caught evryday and the fact that we are removing these fish before they have a chance to spawn is downright sad.......there are dozens of companies, just like ours, in this region, and i can only assume they are bringing in as many as we are, if not more......I'm not sure what can be done about this, but something must be done, and soon, or we can once again kiss this fish goodbye......if anything, the commercial harvest of rockfish should be banned until the spawn is over.....Also, I believe that charter boats should have a limit of say 6 rods to be fished at a time.......

Rock Fish Slaughter
 

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its true walk into a seafood store down there and you will see fresh striper
 

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STRIPERS FOREVER IS ONLY ORGANIZATION PUSHING TO MAKE STRIPERS A FEDERAL GAMEFISH ON ENTIRE COAST
STRIPERS FOREVER IS FREE TO JOIN STRIPERS FOREVER.ORG

February 18, 2008





Stripers Forever Members – recently the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) released a peer reviewed stock assessment for striped bass for the fishing year 2006. The bottom line of the assessment was that striped bass are not being overfished, although the spawning stock biomass – the total weight of all spawning age fish – has declined each of the last four years, and fishing mortality is at the “target” fishing mortality rate – the maximum rate at which striped bass should be killed by fishermen. In summary, it was decided that no action needed to be taken on striped bass management this year and that the situation would be reviewed again next year.




This information appears designed to reassure the public that all is well with striped bass, but Stripers Forever believes an in depth review is warranted. Our concerns with the stock assessment center on the fluctuations that these statistics have had over the last five or six years, and what we perceive to be the determination by fishery managers to put a positive spin on striped bass stocks in spite of some serious negative indications.




Let’s take a look back to October 2004. The stock assessment covering the 2003 fishing year, using the much heralded virtual population analysis (VPA) method determined the spawning stock biomass had fallen to 13,600 metric tons, a 30% drop from the record 18,900 tons registered just two years earlier! The fishing mortality rate which had hovered in the target .30 area for several years shot up to an alarming .40 overall and much higher on the larger breeding size fish. All indications in that October 2004 assessment were that we had greatly surpassed the target mortality rate and were now overfishing adult striped bass. Surely serious changes needed to be made in the management process.




Fast forward to January 2008: The VPA model has been scrapped in favor of a new formula. This new and improved method showed that the spawning stock peaked in 2003, not 2001, and not at 18,900 tons, but actually at 33,000! (and has since declined to 25,000 metric tons.) The 2003 fishing mortality has been revised to F=.23 from F=.40 and only in this 2006 assessment has risen to exceed the F=.30 target level (at F=.31).






















On the recreational side, all the data were derived from the Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Surveys (MRFSS), conducted annually by the National Marine Fisheries Service. This survey was designed to observe long-term trends and was never intended for use in making stock allocation decisions. Reacting to criticism from all sides, NMFS has committed to developing a new recreational data collection system to replace MRFSS, but until such a system is developed, there will continue to be no other source of data for estimating harvest and releases. Recreational discards are calculated using an assumed 8% mortality rate against the MRFSS guesstimate of live releases. Thus the 2,070,000 recreational discard figure for 2006 reflects the MRFSS conclusion that the recreational catch of striped bass was at an all-time high, far surpassing any previous year.




The MRFSS study is, by its very nature, anecdotal, as the data are gathered from interviews conducted with recreational anglers. Stripers Forever has conducted an annual survey of its own membership each year since 2003 and the notion that the recreational catch in 2006 was even close to being such a banner year was certainly not the conclusion we reached. A plurality of respondents felt that fishing was worse or much worse than five years earlier. In fact, 2006 was the third consecutive year that our member anglers felt the fishery was declining in quality. In addition, we receive many emails during the year from fishermen reporting on the fishing in their areas. Our information is unquestionably anecdotal, but has been consistent and not very encouraging.




Even through the fog created by wildly vacillating stock assessment numbers, we can see the negative trend taking shape. By every measurement, fishing mortality is rising and spawning stock biomass is shrinking. One doesn’t have to extend the dots for more than a year or two to see that a huge problem looms ahead. Since the new assessment was for 2006, one of those years has already gone by, and it was a year of increasingly negative reports from a large majority of the anglers we heard from.




It isn’t the probable inaccuracy of the stock assessment that concerns us most. We recognize the extreme difficulty in making accurate and consistent stock assessments. At the Striped Bass Game Fish Symposium 2006, one of the panelists, a fishery Ph.D. and one-time Director of Marine Fisheries for a large southern state, told attendees that these stock assessments were accurate to no more than 50% in either direction and could be even farther off than that! What does bother us is the ASMFC’s lack of recognition that this fishery is slipping away, and that the recreational industry depends on high quality fishing for its vitality.




But we shouldn’t be too surprised. Virtually every fish species managed by the ASMFC is doing poorly. Fisheries managers have no experience and little understanding of the concept of a purely recreational fishery, one where the economic value derives from the willingness of people to spend money to enjoy a great outdoor experience They are used to spending their time parceling out what little is left of our marine resources to a few commercial fishermen who then take what they can out of those decimated stocks.




One also needs to read the peer review to make some sense of what an approval means. There is no real estimate of the margin for error. The list of information that the peer review committee suggests can be improved is very lengthy and includes everything from developing better methods of determining uncounted mortalities like commercial discards in the EEZ and from high-grading – which they offhand characterize as minor – to developing models that break the stock down to individual components, like Hudson River, Delaware Bay, and Chesapeake Bay fish. They made no comments about the illegal commercial catch; even though confiscations and arrests records show that the illegal catch is large, very likely equaling a substantial part of the overall commercial mortality




The time is now for responsible fishery management to recognize that the striped bass is no longer a fish that should be harvested commercially, and that the slaughter of the large breeding females that nature intended to live 20 years or more must cease. Stripers Forever is confident that without the pressure of commercial quotas, the ASMFC would do as the recreational community has consistently asked which is to manage striped bass at a much lower fishing mortality rate, and to preserve the quality of this fishery for the millions of people who find fishing for this creature such a compelling pastime.
 

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I was at a grocery store the other afternoon here in Delco that was selling whole stripers!!! I thought, "Wow, this is great, I can even buy and bring to my wife and tell her I caught it!", lol. Until of course they show me that they were all under 24" and according to the gentleman, "These are all line caught off the Mid Atlantic coast".

So where is it legal to 'line catch' 24" and under stripers commercially for wholesale?
 

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I don't think you can sell Striped Bass in NJ or have it on the menu UNLESS it is hatchery Grown
There are several spots in South Jersey that raise Striped bass for sale and that is legal
IF striped bass are on the menu and not hatchery a call to a Game Warden is warranted
 

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Newsflash!!!

Stripers are sold at almost every major fish market. A lot of the smaller fish are the hybrid ones, but its not hard keep walking down the aisle in fulton market and find a 35 lb.er. last christmas they were the hot item at the market for a while and was selling for just as much as tuna.
 

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Guatemala Dave said:
I found the following on a Maryland message board. The following link will be to the actual thread. Thank God Stripers are Gamefish in NJ:

Rockfish Slaughter
I work at one of the major wholesale fish companies in the Chesapeake Bay area and I'm shocked at the number of Rockfish brought in EVERYDAY that are completely full of eggs....I'm not sure of the total pounds, but we bring in pallets of fish on a daily basis, thousands of pounds, that are full of eggs....these fish range between 20 and 50 inches......Between this and the ridiculous catches that go on off the coast of Virginia every year there is no doubt in my mind that Rockfish are in big, big trouble.....I never even remotely had an idea how many rockfish are caught evryday and the fact that we are removing these fish before they have a chance to spawn is downright sad.......there are dozens of companies, just like ours, in this region, and i can only assume they are bringing in as many as we are, if not more......I'm not sure what can be done about this, but something must be done, and soon, or we can once again kiss this fish goodbye......if anything, the commercial harvest of rockfish should be banned until the spawn is over.....Also, I believe that charter boats should have a limit of say 6 rods to be fished at a time.......

Rock Fish Slaughter
IF you believe this is bad than you must (logically) also oppose the recreational Spring fishery that occurs in the lower and central bay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've always opposed BIG FISH slaughter!

Wether it's Delaware Bay Chunkers, VA and NC winter time Jiggers, NJ Bunker Snaggers, or New England Pin Hookers and Rec's bailing SLOBS.

NONE IS NECESSARY!

I have always advocated a TRUE slot limit:

2 fish 24" to 34" maybe a TRUE Trophy tag. $50 back to the fishery for a fish over + or - 45" so you can kill a big fish if it makes you happy.

I only posted this because there seem to be a lot of recent NJ striper fishermen who seem to think that stripers are a game fish all along the coast and nothing could be farther from the truth.

I do think that stripers should be a recreational gamefish coast wide. I believe the economic benifit would more than make up for the commercial fishermen that would be hurt.

After all our roads are covered with deer carcasses and you don't see wild deer in the supermarkets. Market hunting for waterfowl went out with the duck stamp.

Which brings up the Saltwater lisence. it is comming and the feds are forcing it on us unless we can get our act together QUICK and design something that WORKS and truly helps recreational fishing. But that is another day, but real soon!
 

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Every year we take a trip up to the Cape... every person you meet that fishes works a day job and goes fishing at night or works a night job and fishes the daytime... and they are all selling their fish... bartenders, waiters, hotel owners.... you name it..
 

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Guatemala Dave said:
Wether it's Delaware Bay Chunkers, VA and NC winter time Jiggers, NJ Bunker Snaggers, or New England Pin Hookers and Rec's bailing SLOBS.

NONE IS NECESSARY!

I have always advocated a TRUE slot limit:

2 fish 24" to 34" maybe a TRUE Trophy tag. $50 back to the fishery for a fish over + or - 45" so you can kill a big fish if it makes you happy.

I only posted this because there seem to be a lot of recent NJ striper fishermen who seem to think that stripers are a game fish all along the coast and nothing could be farther from the truth.

I do think that stripers should be a recreational gamefish coast wide. I believe the economic benifit would more than make up for the commercial fishermen that would be hurt.

After all our roads are covered with deer carcasses and you don't see wild deer in the supermarkets. Market hunting for waterfowl went out with the duck stamp.

Which brings up the Saltwater lisence. it is comming and the feds are forcing it on us unless we can get our act together QUICK and design something that WORKS and truly helps recreational fishing. But that is another day, but real soon!
I agree, except for your suggestion of allowing a really big fish. Even down south, some people are getting scared that there is overfishing of the resource. Fishing in VA, while fanastic by NJ standards, was not nearly as good this year as it has been in the past. And there has been no sizeable body of fish in NC for two seasons now. Several noted captains in NC are convinced that it is not just the warner winters, but a significant decline in the fishery. They are starting to talk about organizing against the commerical netters. When the guys in NC are doing that, you know they are scared.
 
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