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Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s emergency action is good news for striped bass

By Tom Sadler for

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]Yesterday the Virginia Marine Resources Commission voted unanimously to enact emergency regulations for the striped bass fishery.

Photo: M. Gallart

Such emergency measures will establish a bag limit of one fish per angler per day, with a maximum size limit of 36 inches. The emergency measures also establish a maximum gill net size of 9 inches in the coastal fishery and 7 inches in the Chesapeake Bay fishery, and so lower overall mortality of striped bass and protect the large breeding fish that are critical to the health and future of the population.

“Virginia took the first action on striped bass in the spring and today’s steps continue our commitment to restore this fishery to healthy levels. The recent stock assessment shows that immediate action is needed to slow the decline and restore this fishery to sustainable levels,” Virginia Marine Resources Commissioner Steven G. Bowman said. “I am proud of the ongoing leadership by the Commission. Restoring this fishery to its full potential will require further actions for the commercial and recreational fisheries in the coming months.”

This emergency action is both warranted and appreciated because the striped bass stock is overfished, and overfishing is occurring. Both conditions mean striped bass are in trouble and action needs to be taken.

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