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April 11, 2001

Link to NJ Fishing Consumer Alert page Link to NJ Fishing Consumer Alert page

Striped Bass Harvest in the EEZ

At its most recent meeting, the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission voted to recommend that the Secretary of Commerce open up the Exclusive Economic Zone (the EEZ - those waters from 3 to 200 miles offshore where the living marine resources are managed by the federal government).

Harvesting of striped bass was initially prohibited in the EEZ because the stocks were done and it was thought that this would be a significant boost to conservation. However, in recent years there has been a resurgence of striped bass in Mid-Atlantic and New England coastal waters, with their abundance at record levels.

Needless to say, recreational fishing activists and their supporters are opposing this move, thinking that it will give commercial harvesters additional access to this delicious, high-demand seafood product. The question that every consumer should be asking, however, is that, with an ocean once again filled with large striped bass, why shouldn't he or she have the opportunity to enjoy them along with the recreational fishermen (note that the recreational fishing harvest of striped bass is almost ten times as great as the commercial harvest. Note as well that New Jersey's recreational anglers, who - along with their elected representatives - are leading the opposition to opening the EEZ -  kill more striped bass than those in any other state.

For more information on striped bass in particular, seafood in general, and the seafood consumer, go to:

   To Seafood Consumer section

We'd also recommend an article written in 1984 by a Canadian fisheries biologist that put's the "gamefish" question in the proper context. It's posted at http://www.fishingnj.org/artgeorge.htm

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