An interstate management board has approved new fishing size limits for Atlantic striped bass that formalize an emergency order put in place over the summer.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board set a slot limit for all striped bass along the East Coast — including Martha’s Vineyard — at between 28 and 31 inches. Recreational fishers will only be allowed to take home one striped bass per day as well, a regulation that has been in place since 2015.
The management board announced the addendum on Jan. 25.
Prior to an emergency order that went into effect in July, the fishery limited the size of the fish to from 28 to less than 35 inches in length.
The slot limit change is the most recent effort made by marine life organizations to reduce overfishing of the Atlantic striped bass, and to promote population growth.
Board chair Megan Ware from Maine said they made the decision after wading through public comments.
“First and foremost, thank you to the 2,000 members of the public who submitted public comments. The board had difficult issues to discuss, and public comments were a crucial part of the deliberations,” Ware said. “The board remains focused on rebuilding the stock by 2029. The upcoming 2024 stock assessment will be an important checkpoint on progress toward rebuilding.”
Emilie Franke, fishery management plan coordinator for the commission, said that the new size limits will be in place until the commission decides to make a change, which could be as early as October. She said that the commission will review this year’s stock assessment in the fall, when it’s available.