A study of East Coast striped bass populations indicates that large, older fish are becoming increasingly scarce, even though the stock was declared "recovered" six years ago. The study, released by the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, acknowledges that the numbers of smaller striped bass have increased significantly, but increased pressure on larger fish has resulted in few fish living past age 15. The mortality rate of the current management policy, known as Amendment 5, results in a disrupted age structure in the population. Amendment 6 is expected to contain measures that will address this concern. To read the full report, visit the Coastal Conservation Association website at http://www.joincca.org.
September 21, 2007