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Saltwater Edge Amendment 7 Public Comment Letter

Emilie Franke 

Fishery Management Plan Coordinator  

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission 

1050 North Highland Street, Suite 200A-N  

Arlington, Virginia 22201 

RE: Atlantic Striped Bass Amendment 7 Public Comment Letter

Dear Ms. Franke and Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board: 

I am the owner of the Saltwater Edge a fishing tackle shop in Middletown, RI. I am also Chairman of the American Saltwater Guides Association an organization that believes healthy sustainable fisheries drive angler participation and therefore sales. I also serve on the Legislative Committee of The Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) which represents over 7,500 recreational anglers. 


A healthy striped bass population is the linchpin to sustaining mine and other tackle shops along the striper coast. Striped bass are everyman’s fish in that you can catch it from the beach, a kayak or a boat with bait, or lures, or flies and they are in our waters from April to November. Many of my customers were introduced to saltwater fishing by the striped bass. 


According to data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the most recent year available, 2016, recreational fishing supported over 4,000 jobs and contributed over $412 million to the Rhode Island economy. That's in comparison to a value of $332 million for commercial fisheries. The economic contribution of striped bass to my shop and the recreational fishing economy in Rhode Island is difficult to understate. 


I am very concerned for the ASMFC’s ability as currently configured to manage the striped bass population in a sustainable manner. Being old enough to have fished through the last decline I also witnessed the subsequent rebound brought about by effective management. It was the shining star of fisheries management. I believe the current decline is largely because managers have yielded to political pressures by ignoring science and their own management triggers rather than looking out for the best interest of rebuilding fish stocks. The striped bass recovery from the last moratorium demonstrates if we take care of the fish the fish will take care of us. ASMFC needs to look in the mirror and learn from the past. 


As a small business owner reliant on healthy striped bass population. I can’t see past the ridiculous and unchecked use of conservation equivalence by ASMFC. These proposals and resulting impacts rarely seem to be on target. The lack of accountability is truly astonishing. The striped bass resource (and associated businesses) would have been on the road to recovery by now if not for some flimsy CE claims. Now we are being forced to double down on the 2015 year class. A risky plan at best. Be aware there is considerable and growing public distrust in the ability of ASMFC to deliver on their mission of “ leaving healthy and abundant marine fisheries for the next generation to enjoy” 

I support the following options:

4.1

Tier 1

Option A- Support A1

Option B- Support B1

Option C- Support C1

Tier 2

Option A- Support A2

Option B- Support B1

Option C- Support C1

Tier 3

Option A- Support A2

Option B- Support B2

Tier 4

Support A

 

4.2

Option B- Support no measure

Option C- Support C1, C2

Option D- Support D2

 

4.4.1

Support B

 

4.4.2

Support B

 

4.6.2

Option B- Support B1-a

Option C- Support C3

Option D- Support D2

Option E- Support E2

 

I appreciate the opportunity to provide comments. I do hope the Board seizes this opportunity to restore public trust and realize their mission of “leaving healthy and abundant marine fisheries for the next generation to enjoy” 

Sincerely,

Peter Jenkins

Owner

The Saltwater Edge

Chairman 

The American Saltwater Guides Association

1 Response

stanley w witkop III

stanley w witkop III

April 21, 2022

as far as the management options go, i support the above options. Beyond this, however, i suggest a one fish per season limit of 40" or above until the stock is solidly recovered.

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