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Anglers Keep Wary Eye on Benchmark Stock Assessment for Striped Bass
Amidst growing concerns on the health and abundance of striped bass stocks, the long-awaited Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Atlantic striped bass benchmark stock assessment has undergone peer review. On a Nov. 27 webinar, the Stock Assessment Committee (SAC) presented results from two different models and shared some of the results from the peer review process.
One model, also known as the statistical catch at age (SCA) model, is essentially an update of what is currently being used for current management. A second and new model has parsed the striped bass population into two stocks, a Chesapeake Bay stock and a Delaware/Hudson stock.
While reviewers were impressed by the new two-stock model, they felt it is not ready for prime time, and the existing SCA model is expected to be considered by the board for future management actions.
Regardless of what model or guidance is provided to the board at the February ASMFC meeting, the Board will be faced with reversing the trend of a declining Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB) that has anglers all along the East Coast concerned. Lowering fishing mortality levels through management actions is one of the tools available to managers to reverse that trend. CCA will be keeping members apprised of developments and our efforts to ensuring the health and conservation of our marine resources and anglers’ access to them.
Read more from CCA at www.joincca.org.
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