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jlebow44

Commercial vs. Recreational....

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From today's T&G:

 

Striped bass debate begins

 

 

Mark Blazis Outdoors

 

 

The Striped Bass War is about to have a climactic battle in Massachusetts, pitting the interests of recreational anglers against local commercial fishermen, fish markets, restaurants and tackle shops.

 

The Committee on Natural Resources is scheduled to debate the "Conservation of the American Striped Bass" at 11 a.m. Thursday in Room A-2 of the Statehouse. House Bill 796 threatens to abolish commercial striped bass fishing. It also would affect recreational fishermen, diminishing their limit to one striped bass per day either between 20 and 26 inches or over 40 inches.

 

This slot limit allegedly protects more prime breeding stock. Recreational fishermen are currently permitted two fish over 28 inches, all year long. Commercial fishermen have been limited to fishing between July 12 and Aug. 26, with a limit of five fish on Sundays, and 30 from Tuesday through Friday.

 

Text of the bill is available at www.mass.gov/legis.

 

H.B. 796 implies that commercial fishermen harmfully diminish striper stocks. The Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, comprised of experts appointed by the governor to assist in developing laws, rebuts that claim, highlighting the fact that recreational anglers took 90 percent of the 2008 catch.

 

Far more harmful to stripers is the massive pollution from farming interests around the Chesapeake, affecting spawning and causing lethal disease outbreaks of mycobacteriosis. Worse yet is the overharvesting of bait fish, specifically herring and menhaden, that our game fish depend on.

 

Respected authorities south of Massachusetts paint a bleak picture of diminishing striper stocks. In contrast, many fishermen and biologists reported plenty of local fish whose movements last season were dependent on the location of baitfish. If you fished where bait schooled, you caught fish. Some feel those results and other population studies confirm continued sound, scientific management of our Massachusetts stocks. Our marine fisheries commission believes that prohibiting commercial fishing will just shift allocation of the resource 100 percent to recreational fishermen, actually hurting striped bass, increasing mortality and lowering opportunities for the public to purchase wild caught bass in local markets and restaurants.

 

Maintaining stripers at peak levels, without addressing the decimation of critical baitfish populations in the Atlantic, may be harmful to other fishery goals, like the restoration of Atlantic salmon and shad, both of which are struggling. They suffer significant predation of their young by stripers having difficulty finding enough other baitfish. Anglers regularly fishing the Connecticut and Merrimack can attest to this counterproductive feeding by stripers.

 

Veteran striper fishermen remember the '80s, when just catching a striper warranted note. Since 1995, stocks have successfully rebounded and remained sustainable under the highly regarded management of our Department of Marine Fisheries. No one wants another crash. Should we discount the success and recommendations of our fisheries scientists? Should we eliminate commercial fishermen rather than wholeheartedly pursue the critically harmful offenders?

 

Many commercial striper fishermen love their tradition, while for others, it's just an extension of their recreational fishing, a way to pay for their sport. Then there are some economically challenged Cape Codders who have had to become multitaskers to make a living and really need this extra income. We need to think twice about taking away one of their fragmented means of income. We have an equal obligation to be fair to the fish, which have no alternative means of survival other than our advocacy.

 

Recreational proponents include Stripers Forever, which characterizes commercial striper fishing as an economically unwise and disproportionately unfair exploitation of the resource; and House Bill 796 petitioners, Reps. Karyn Polito, R-Shrewsbury, and Jennifer Callahan, D-Sutton. The battle lines are passionately drawn, and politicians, rather than fisheries scientists, will ultimately cast the deciding vote.

 

Mark Blazis can be reached by e-mail at markblazis@charter.net.

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View Post......... The battle lines are passionately drawn, and politicians, rather than fisheries scientists, will ultimately cast the deciding vote.

 

.....

 

 

 

....and that's what I've maintained since this dance began.....for better or worse, it'll be the pols that will ultimately call the shots on this. Hopefully their decision will mesh with yours.

 

I must congratulate my old hometown newspaper, the T&G, a landlocked newspaper, for printing this informative article. I would have thought perhaps the CCT would carry some mention of it, but then again may be I missed it.

 

jlebow44.... Appreciate ya posting follow up info. once the pols decide. Thanks ....good info post.

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does nothing toward saving the Striped bass, except for those who have decided they have a found a legal way to keep them for themselves.

 

The commercial use of Striped Bass has historical data going back to the early colonial times here in Massachusetts, The very first Latin School Built was from the sale of selling Striped Bass and that was whole lot of fish, back then.

 

It is unfortuned that Massachusetts, broaden the spectrum of Commercial sold fish to a more recreational quata we have today.

 

Both User groups should have equal rights to the aquatic resource, let alone the dramatic effect it will have on the Striped Bass resource that will incease in numbers and not have enough food to sustain them into the future. We will then get genetically deformed fish that will not have the reproduction imprint of there healthier brothers ans sisters.

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View Post...... We will then get genetically deformed fish that will not have the reproduction imprint.....

 

 

Yep. Check out those farmed raised striped bass from the fish farms in and around Montague and Turner Falls MA.

 

Large raised hump between the top of the head and shoulders.

 

That's what happens when the scientists start to fool around with mother nature.

 

I understand one of the largest farms in that area, Australis Aquaculture is growing and harvesting barramundi. Apparently, faster to market cycle and wider margins than striped bass.

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View PostYep. Check out those farmed raised striped bass from the fish farms in and around Montague and Turner Falls MA.

 

Large raised hump between the top of the head and shoulders.

 

That's what happens when the scientists start to fool around with mother nature.

 

I understand one of the largest farms in that area, Australis Aquaculture is growing and harvesting barramundi. Apparently, faster to market cycle and wider margins than striped bass.

 

 

They have that hump because they're really hybrids--cross between a striped and white bass. They're called "wipers" down south. They've been stocked in many fresh water lakes, and some seem to have managed to escape into rivers that run to the ocean as they're occasionally caught from NJ south.

 

People tell me that pound for pound, they'll kick a striper's arse wink.gif

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View Post....and that's what I've maintained since this dance began.....for better or worse, it'll be the pols that will ultimately call the shots on this. Hopefully their decision will mesh with yours.

 

 

Who do you think presently controls the ASMFC. Most of the members are political appointees or representative of the state.

 

I think the article misses the point, in that this is not recreational against commercial. In the end, this is protection of the fish against commercial. As long as commercial fishing is allowed it will be extremely difficult to get recreational fisherman to accept lower limits. To me when the numbers of fish are at a point where the general public is only allowed two a day, it means there are not enough to support a commercial fishery. Why should someone be allowed 30 fish a day and another limited to 2. Or better yet, why should that person who is limited to only 2 think that it is reasonable to reduce it even further. Yes, the recreational catch is much larger but it is spread over a huge number of people and that number is increasing. We are going to need to reduce the recreational catch but I don't see it happening as long as there is commercial fishing.

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View PostThey have that hump because they're really hybrids--cross between a striped and white bass......

 

People tell me that pound for pound, they'll kick a striper's arse wink.gif

 

 

Interesting info. DJ.

 

From what I was told at an ethnic supermarket and after seeing the sign that stated said fish were striped bass, I now know better.

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