TRANSCRIPT - Dr. Jorgen Skjeveland
Skjeveland is Project Leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Services in Annapolis, Maryland.
Can you give us a little summation of what happened with striped
in the early part of the 80s or late 70s was in real
trouble and it was the early 80s that they were even talking
about listing striped bass as an endangered species and now with
the current management scheme we have now, it probably is as abundant
as it ever has been in history. So its been a great big success.
What did it involve to get there? Tell me about some of the regime.
of the biggest reasons for the comeback of the striped bass has
been the moratorium here in the Chesapeake Bay. Restrictive size
limits and seasons along the coast have been enforced. And there
are still now very restrictive a very tightly controlled size limits
and quotas and seasons up and down the coast that keep the fishery
doing as well as it is now.
So, it started off with the moratorium is that correct?
It started off
with a moratorium here in the Chesapeake Bay and then restrictive
seasons and bag limits along the coast.
Would you tell us what the moratorium is?
There was a
complete fishing ban for the Chesapeake Bay states and now there
is still a quota for the state-for the Bay area.
No one was allowed
to fish for striped bass. If you caught one accidentally, you had
to let it go. No one was allowed to keep any striped bass at all.
for about five years. Then it was relaxed with a very tight, short
season and then it was declared recovered here in the states. There
were very tight bag limits here in the states for a year or two
In the Chesapeake
Bay there was a total fishing moratorium, which meant that no one
could catch any striped bass. And that lasted for 5 years and then
it was relaxed and finally lifted.
Could you tell us the reason why the moratorium was lifted?
was lifted because the fish started coming back to spawn and then
we had enough offspring that would allow for the stocks to be fished.
What kind of regime is now in effect that is making sure this doesnt
happen all over again?
It is tightly
controlled by a fishery management plan by the Atlantic States Marine
Fishery Commission and there is a group of scientists from each
state that is closely monitoring the fishery with length of size
of season, bag limits, size limits and quotas for each state.
just to keep the quota so that there is some sort of control on
how much they can catch the commercial fisherman can only
catch so many, when they reach that, they have to shut down.
You guys did the moratorium and now youve got these management
regimes in. What do you think? What have you done here with striped
basically was brought home being listed as an endangered species
to being as abundant as it probably ever has been over just a relatively
short period of time less than ten years.
Is this going to be an example for other fisheries?
It could very
well be an example for other fisheries, but youve got to bite
downespecially in the beginning anyway, which is probably
going to hurt the fisherman in the short term but help them in the
Part of the regime had to do with the cleaning up of the water.
Striped bass have been brought back due to the cleaning up of the
bass being an anadramous fish that spawns in the freshwater tributaries
of the bays here, it probably also has been a great help that the
last decade or two there has been a great push to clean up the spawning
rivers, or to clean up the water that comes into the bay.
Well, one of
the things that we are probably the proudest of is that we are part
of this turn around. We went from a few years ago almost to being
an endangered species to being such a success story.
Do you think any other fisheries, fishery management efforts can
take lessons from what happened here?
Yes. I think
they can and also are. I guess I can mention that some of
this legislation has extended this sort of system to the rest of
the Atlantic Coast to the inland species, the inshore species.
So that is something
new that is to be tried again with other species. So well
see if it works.
It worked for
striped bass and were hoping that it could work for the rest
of the Atlantic Coast species.
How do you think these recreational fishermen and these commercial
fishermen feel about it?
bass, I generally think they did bite it. By the time that the fisheries
and the populations of fish were getting so bad that there were
still some problems, there was still some opposition to the very
severe fishing moratorium. But generally it was fairly well received.
Do you think the fishermen feel like it was successful?
Oh yes. Fishermen
do feel like it was successful thing. Especially now when you can
go out again and catch fish.
there was some opposition to it, but I think generally it was well
known by everyone that there were serious problems. Now that everyone
can go out and catch fish again, I think that everyone feels like
it was quite a success story.
biggest opposition was by the commercial fishermen. However, they
did get compensated for not being able to fish.
And so, that
sort of softened their opposition to it.