Striped Bass Draft Addendum II Comments
RI DEM 11.30.24
Good evening. My name is Peter Jenkins, and I am from Newport, RI. I own the Saltwater Edge, a retail tackle store in Middletown that’s been in business for 30 years. Saltwater Edge employs 6 full-time employees and 4 part-time. I am also Chairman of the American Saltwater Guides Association, which believes in better business through conservation. Simply stated, more fish in the water is good for business.
Thank you for conducting this hybrid meeting. I’d strongly encourage using this format going forward as it allows for more Rhode Islanders to be involved and to be heard.
Start with a few facts
- The five most recent spawns were utter failures in the Chesapeake
- The Chesapeake supports 70-80% of the coastwide population
- The Hudson is less than 20%
- 2015’s were the 8th best spawn on record
- The Emergency Action was initiated to protect the 2015 from harvest
Yet we use every excuse in the book to ignore the most basic fact, and that is that we have been overfishing every year since 1996 with only 2 exceptions.
The threshold for overfishing is 188 million pounds. The latest data from 2021 = 143 million pounds, only 76% of the threshold and over 40% below the target
The future for striped bass is not bright, and after 2027, it is, in fact, bleak. The five years of poor recruitment means that in 2028 there will be very few 28-inch stripers arriving at Deep Hole in mid-April like they always did. Therefore, protecting the 2015s is absolutely critical. Through a series of half-measures over the last 10 years, ASMFC has painted itself into a corner.
It is for those reasons Saltwater Edge and the American Saltwater Guides Association support:
3.1.1 Ocean Recreational Options: Option B—1-fish at 28-31″ with 2022 seasons (all modes)
- There is history we can learn from about mode splits. Maryland did a mode split for charter for hire, and it resulted in Maryland Charters harvesting more striped bass than the rest of the Chesapeake and ocean charters combined. A mode split will only exacerbate the already serious situation.
3.1.2 Chesapeake Bay Recreational Options:Option B1—1 fish at 19-23” across all CBAY jurisdictions with the same 2022 seasons.
3.2.1 Commercial Quota Reduction Options:Option B with a full 14.5% reduction to both the Ocean and Chesapeake Bay Quotas.
- The Chesapeake Baycommercial fisheryhas not taken a meaningful reduction since 2015. The Chesapeake commercial quota has taken a whopping 1.8% reduction (see below).
3.3 Response to Stock Assessment: Option B—Board Action
I believe everyone should share equally in the sacrifice now needed to recover striped bass by 2029.