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The following is a press release from the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission.

Striped Bass Stock Assessment Indicates Healthy Stock
Total Abundance, Female Spawning Stock Biomass and Recruitment Remain
High

Scientific advice presented to the Commission's Atlantic Striped Bass

Management Board today indicates that striped bass management under
Amendment 6 to the Interstate Plan continues to be a success. The
resource
remains at a high level of abundance at 65.3 million pounds, 10 percent

higher than the average stock size for the previous five years. Female

spawning stock biomass (SSB) is estimated at 54.8 million pounds and is

well above the SSB target and threshold levels of 38.6 and 30.9 million

pounds, respectively. Recruitment of young fish (age 1) at 12.7 million
is
close to the average recruitment observed since the stock was first
declared recovered in 1995.

The stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, with 2004

fishing mortality estimated at 0.40, below the Amendment 6 threshold of

0.41. Total catch has risen to 5.2 million fish, a 33 percent increase

since implementation of Amendment 6 in 2003. Recreational harvest and
discards accounted for 72.5 percent of the total mortality, with the
majority of fish harvested by anglers in Virginia, New Jersey,
Massachusetts, Maryland and North Carolina. Commercial catch has risen

slightly to 1.42 million fish, with Maryland commercial fisheries
accounting for half of the harvest.

Based on the advice of the Technical Committee, the Board maintained
the
states' management programs at status quo. The Technical Committee will

continue to monitor the status of the stock and refine stock assessment

methodology as necessary. The next peer reviewed stock assessment is
scheduled for 2007.

Copies of the stock assessment will be available on the Commission
website
(www.asmfc.org under Breaking News) by mid-November. For more
information, please contact Lydia Munger, Fisheries Management Plan
Coordinator, at (202)289-6400 or <[email protected]>.

*************************
Tina Berger
Public Affairs Specialist
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
1444 I Street. NW, Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202)289-6400
FAX: (202)289-6051
Email: [email protected]
www.asmfc.org
 
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