The Commonwealth of Virginia continued its leadership in working to restore striped bass to healthy levels. We applaud and thank the Virginia Marine Resources Commission for their latest action.
On September 24, the commission voted 7-1 to lower the recreational possession limit in the Chesapeake bay area, establish a 36″ total length recreational maximum size limit, and establish commercial gill net maximum mesh size requirements in the Chesapeake bay and coastal areas.
As we reported earlier, the Commission adopted these measures on August 27, 2019 for 30 days, under its emergency regulatory authority. This action makes these measures a permanent part of the regulations (Chapter 4 VAC 20-252-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Taking of Striped Bass,”)
The commission’s action is both warranted and appreciated because the striped bass stock is overfished, and overfishing is occurring. Both conditions mean striped bass are in trouble. While it is heartening to see Virginia lead the way, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission must act as quickly as possible to implement plans to restore striped bass to sustainable levels.