Why the ASMFC is set up to fail — and what the American Saltwater Guides Association (and you) can do about it.

Have you ever wondered why so many species managed by the ASMFC (Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission) are in trouble? How can any commission tasked with managing fishing stocks have such an abysmal track record and still exist?

The answers are both complex and simple. On the simple side, the answers are a) because the commission does not have conservation in mind, and b) because they can (there is no accountability).

Why does the ASMFC suck at managing our striper fishery? Because they can. Compare their non-checks and balances with the Magnuson Stevens framework. Share this infographic with fellow anglers and conservationists. And be sure to read this synopsis of ASMFC vs Magnuson Stevens.

ASMFC-vs-MSA-Framework

If it all sounds pretty dire, it is. But there is hope: the American Saltwater Guides Association (ASGA).

Don’t let the name fool you: the ASGA has your (the recreational, conservation-minded striper angler) best interests in mind (as well as in deed). They’ll be going to bat for us at the ASMFC meeting next month. To quote the ASGA: “We are hereby putting the ASMFC on notice. If they choose not to follow their own rules yet again we will do everything in our power to legislate a new framework that won’t allow them to mismanage the resource.”

What can you do to help?  Here’s a short action list:

1) Educate yourself – ASGA blog is a great resource

2) Write your state ASMFC reps (you can find the list here.)

3) Find a post or infographic on ASGA that speaks to you and share it.
4) Hit the contribute button and make a donation support the efforts of ASGA (The value of this cannot be underestimated. It costs money do do all that research and travel around the country to represent your interests.)
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The entire recreational angling community has to mobilize if we are going to have any chance of recovering this precious resource. I’m asking all currentseams readers to step up and do at least two of the above. The stripers and I thank you.

 

 

Final days to help striped bass! Comment on Draft Addendum IV!

ASMFC has been holding hearings this month on the future of east coast striped bass management. If you were unable to attend a hearing, as I was, they will accept email comments until tomorrow, September 30. Here’s what I sent them.

Section 2.5.1 and Section 2.5.2 – I am in favor Option B. We should be referencing the best available, most recent science (as set out in the 2013 Benchmark Assessment) when determining courses of action.

Section 2.6Option A. Clearly, a problem exists, and it needs to be addressed immediately.

Section 3.0Option B. Further, I am strongly opposed to any option that stretches out harvest reductions over three years.

Size and bag limits – I am in favor of Option B3 (a one-fish bag limit and a 32” size limit on the coast) and Option B15 (hard quota) in the Chesapeake.

I am an active (averaging 20-30 outings per year) catch-and-release striped bass angler; my method is fly fishing from the shore. Since 2010 I have experienced a steady decline in striped bass numbers. In some cases the fall has been precipitous.

I’d like to use Block Island as a test example. We vacation there every year, and I fish all week. In the years leading up to 2011, I was catching between fifty and ninety striped bass over the course of seven nights. In 2011, I caught nine. In 2012, I caught five. On the 2012 trip, I went three consecutive nights without a striper; the last time that happened was before I ever started fly fishing for striped bass. Yep. There’s a problem, folks. So, things were better for Block Island anglers this year, especially if you had a boat. Better is, of course, relative. I was horrified by the wanton, wasteful, wholesale slaughter of so many striped bass in their prime breeding years by both charter and private boats.

Striped bass are a precious, finite resource. Please enact regulations that will better protect these magnificent fish and the waters they live in.

Comments should be sent to mwaine at asmfc dot org, subject line Draft Addendum IV.

A little help, here?

FridayBIBass