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Striped Bass Fishery Management

In 2014, fishing mortality among striped bass along the Atlantic Coast was estimated at 0.205. This is above the target of 0.180 but below the threshold of 0.219. This indicates overfishing is not occurring.





April 28, 2014

Striped bass are a sought-after commercial and recreational catch and a key predator in the Chesapeake Bay food web. Andrew Turner from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/Versar explains why the fish is so unique. Learn more about striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay Program’s online Field Guide.

Closed Captions.

Importance

The Chesapeake Bay is one of the most important striped bass spawning and nursery habitats on the East Coast, supporting valuable commercial and recreational fisheries. While the striped bass population experienced severe declines in the 1970s and 1980s, the biomass of adult female striped bass along the Atlantic Coast—which is tracked as an indicator of coast-wide striped bass abundance—has remained above the threshold since 1995. Multi-state fishing moratoria in the late 1980s and commercial harvest quotas and recreational harvest limits set in the 1990s were critical to rebuilding the striped bass stock.

Goal

From the 2013 benchmark stock assessment, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) set a target level for fishing mortality among striped bass along the Atlantic Coast of 0.180 and a threshold of 0.219. While there is currently no mortality target for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, the development of Chesapeake Bay-specific reference points has been discussed.

Long-term trend (1982-2014)

Between 1983 and 2014, fishing mortality among striped bass along the Atlantic Coast has averaged 0.153. Fishing mortality reached its lowest point in 1987 with a value of 0.030 and peaked in 2006 with a value of 0.275. The most recent estimate of fishing mortality—0.205 in 2014—is 12 percent lower than the previous year’s estimate of 0.234.

Short-term trend (2004-2014)

Fishing mortality among striped bass along the Atlantic Coast reached its highest point in the last decade in 2006, at 0.275. It reached its lowest point in the last ten years in 2012, at 0.181.

Change from previous year (2013-2014)

Between 2013 and 2014, fishing mortality among striped bass along the Atlantic Coast fell 12 percent from 0.234 to 0.205.

Additional Information

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) uses biological reference points—targets and thresholds—to assess the status of the striped bass stock. The current fishing mortality target of 0.180 and threshold of 0.219 were established from the 2013 benchmark stock assessment.

Fishing mortality is the estimated rate of removal due to fishing and includes harvest, discard and bycatch data. While there is currently no mortality target for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, the development of Chesapeake Bay-specific reference points has been discussed.

Source of Data

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC)

410 Severn Avenue / Suite 112
Annapolis, Maryland 21403
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