Issue: NOAA Fisheries is considering removal of the current prohibition on recreational striped bass fishing in the Block Island Transit Zone.
Background: Existing regulations prohibit all fishing (recreational and commercial) for striped bass in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) which begins 3 nautical miles off the coast of the Northeast states. However, fishermen may possess and transport striped bass while crossing the Block Island Transit Zone. This allows fishermen to catch striped bass in water off Block Island and transport them across EEZ waters back to state waters of Rhode Island and New York.
Our Opinion: On The Water is commenting in opposition to the action. We are against opening the EEZ to striper fishing (recreational and commercial) as we believe it is an effective conservation measure that protects a significant portion of the striped bass population, especially large female striped bass. While the current proposal pertains to the Block Island Transit Zone, we believe that opening this area of the EEZ off New York and Rhode Island to recreational fishing would be viewed by other states as unfair. The result would be significant pressure to open all EEZ waters to recreational and commercial striped bass fishing.
Submit Your Comments: NOAA Fisheries is requesting public comment on the removal of the prohibition on recreational fishing for striped bass in the Transit Zone via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal.
NOAA Fisheries will review all public comments and consult with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to consider whether regulatory revisions are appropriate.