Thursday, December 12, 2013

CCA MD News Release - Striped Bass Harvest 2014


I have been a member of CCA for about two years now but have been living by its foundational values my entire life. I recently took the next step by joining the Government Relations Committee (GRC) of Maryland's CCA to not only continue to expand my own personal knowledge of conservation and preserving our resources, but also to help keep you, our followers, and those who have an impact as well, informed on the happenings of CCA and what we are advocating for. Here's whats been going down over the last couple of weeks and the point we are at...

"CCA Maryland has met with Maryland DNR to discuss the 14% increase in striped bass harvest.  You can read DNR's explanation of this action here.  

CCA sent a response to this action yesterday.  Click the links to read the CCA response and news release.
We want to be very clear on this.  CCA is not questioning the science behind this issue.   It was noted that there have been cuts on the commercial quota in Maryland for the last few years and this is the first increase in a long time.  Well, from 2006 to 2009 recreational catches declined by 66% COASTWIDE.  We aren't asking for more now that we had a good spawn.  We only want to conserve the fish.   

CCA Maryland believes that with all of the uncertainties out there for striped bass, this is a terrible decision.  These uncertainties include what myco is doing to the stock, what poaching (recreational and commercial) is doing to the stock, and  what the Virginia winter fishery is doing to the stock.  In the face of impending conservation measures, adding to the harvest is the worst possible time to make this decision.   

There is a chance, a very slight chance, that we could turn this around.  Right now, we only have you on our side. Many other stakeholders are concerned about keeping harvest up so their slice of the pie isn't disturbed.  Is this how we treat our resource?  Is this how we want Maryland to be viewed by other states on federal committees?   Isn't it time for you to stand up for the fish you spend so much time pursuing?  We encourage individuals and other organizations to stand together with us.    

We will stand alone for now.  It has never stopped us before.  Failure is far better than not trying.   
To avoid decisions like this in the future CCA Maryland has recommended that MD DNR provide an opportunity for stakeholder input through the Sport and Tidal Fisheries Advisory Commission prior to setting the 2015 Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Quota and each year thereafter.  This fail safe measure would ensure that we won't get surprise actions moving forward. "

And here is the open letter we sent to Joseph Gill, secretary of the MD DNR to redistribute to others such as the director and other secretaries...

You can take action too by making others aware by sharing this post on Facebook and Twitter, following CCA MD on Facebook and sharing their posts, and helping others realize that we are saving a species for future generations, not just ourselves.


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