Atlantic – Decision Postponed on Striped Bass Fishing in Federal Waters

December 10, 2004

NOAA Fisheries will wait for the results of a new striped bass stock assessment in 2005 before deciding whether to re-open federal waters to striped bass fishing.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has recommended that NOAA Fisheries remove the current moratorium on the harvest of Atlantic striped bass in federal waters. To determine what action should be taken in response to this recommendation, NOAA Fisheries began preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) – an analysis of impacts of striped bass fishing in federal waters. Completion of the document has been delayed because of uncertainties in the 2004 Atlantic striped bass stock assessment.

In 2005, the Commission’s Striped Bass Technical Committee will conduct another stock assessment of striped bass, which will either confirm the 2004 results or identify problems with that assessment. The new stock assessment will be completed by fall 2005 and the DEIS will be updated to incorporate those results.

For more information and updates on the development of the striped bass DEIS, go to: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/state_federal/state_federal.htm.

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