Bill Introduced over Striped Bass

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
7 January 2010, at 12:00am

US - A bill to ban the harvest and sale of wild striped bass in Massachusetts is expected to be introduced next week.

The state's joint committee on environment, natural resources, and agriculture is to hold a public hearing on the bill filed by Representative Matt Patrick of Falmouth next Thursday.

The public hearing procedure calls for those who would like to comment to sign in prior to the hearing.

The bill prohibits commercial fishing for striped bass and directs the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) to create new rules only allowing recreational fishermen to take one striped bass per day between 20 and 26 inches in length or greater than 40 inches in length, a report in The Martha's Vineyard Times says.

The limit is designed to preserve sexually mature breeder bass but still allow for fishermen to take trophy fish.

The bill allows the sale of aquaculture-raised striped bass.

Current regulations allow recreational fishermen to take two fish a day over 28 inches long. Commercial fishermen are allowed to take fish over 32 inches long until the state's quota, set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, is reached, the report says.

Last year, fishermen took almost 1.2 million pounds of fish.