NOAA 03-R142
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Susan Buchanon
8/26/03
NOAA News Releases 2003
NOAA Home Page
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NOAA FISHERIES SEEKING ADDITIONAL COMMENTS
TO UPDATE ATLANTIC STRIPED BASS MANAGEMENT

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) has re-opened the public comment period for the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) addressing potential revisions to the Atlantic Striped Bass regulations for federal waters. Those who wish to comment on the potential revisions now have until September 25, 2003 to do so.

“There is considerable public interest in the future management direction of this very important East-coast fishery,” said Anne Lange, Chief of the State-Federal Fisheries Division. “As we consider the possibility of drafting proposed changes to the striped bass regulations, we want to make sure we have the most current data and information available.”

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment as part of its response to a request by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The Commission has recommended that the Secretary of Commerce, through regulatory actions by NOAA Fisheries, remove the moratorium on the harvest of Atlantic striped bass in federally managed waters (from three miles from shore out to 200 miles). Federal waters have been closed to both commercial and recreational fishing of Atlantic striped bass for the past 13 years.

The Commission has also recommended a 28-inch minimum size limit for the recreational and commercial Atlantic striped bass fisheries in federal waters, and that states be allowed the ability to adopt more restrictive rules for fishermen and vessels licensed in their jurisdiction.

NOAA Fisheries published the original ANPR on July 21, 2003 and the comment period ended on August 20, 2003. The agency has received numerous correspondence expressing opinion on whether or not to open federal waters to fishing. Officials re-opened the comment period to gather additional data and information that would assist them in making a decision on whether to proceed with this rulemaking.

The comment period for the ANPR will now close on September 25, 2003. Written comments can be mailed to Anne Lange, Chief, State-Federal Fisheries Division, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, NOAA Fisheries, 1315 East West Highway, Room 13317, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or faxed to 301-713-0596. For further information, contact Anne Lange or Tom Meyer at 301-713-2334.

NOAA Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation’s living marine resources, and the habitat on which they depend, through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, while helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov/

NOAA Fisheries: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/

Copies of the ANPR are available on the State-Federal Fisheries Website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/state_federal/state_federal.htm