I recently joined a great Facebook group that is gaining momentum while taking the striped bass issue into their own hands. The 1@32 Pledge is a great way to spread awareness about the declining bass stocks while setting an example for others to do the same. Below we have provided the premise and impetus for the movement as outlined on their page. This smart and fishy bunch of guys and gals is well read and eager to protect our bass stocks before it becomes dire, as it was in 1980’s. Visit the 1@32 Facebook page to learn more about this virtual think-tank of conservation minded anglers. There is a ton of great content being shared there.
At the October 2013 meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Board voted to accept the benchmark stock assessment which revealed that the female spawning biomass is in decline and that fishing mortality and harvest is too high. The Board moved to develop an addendum “to propose a range of commercial and recreational management measures for the coastal, Chesapeake Bay, and Albemarle/Roanoke stocks to reduce fishing mortality with a proposed implementation date of January 2015.”
While we are encouraged that the ASMFC appears to be moving to implement new measures to improve the striped bass biomass, we see no sense in waiting until 2015 to take action. The time to act is now.
The 1@32 Pledge is an interim step that we are proposing to help reduce fish mortality. While catch and release is always preferred, the pledge is simple…in situations when you do not practice catch and release, you pledge to only take one fish per day at no less than 32″. The 1@32 Pledge applies to striped bass caught from the surf or shore, on private boats, and party boats.
We are hopeful that the Pledge can help to rebuild the striped bass biomass, one angler at a time, as we wait patiently for the ASMFC to act. Please consider joining us in taking the Pledge.
We encourage you to share your Pledge with others via conversations, social media or other avenues. This grassroots movement will not only help striped bass, but will also serve as a “wake-up call” to the ASMFC that we are serious stewards of the resource. Take the 1@32 Pledge.