National Fisherman

HOOPERS ISLAND, Md. — Watermen have been saying for months that striped bass, also called rockfish, have been eating crabs, and now they say they have proof.
A picture circulating the Internet since the first weekend of November shows a striped bass cut open with roughly 20 small crabs spilling out of it.
Watermen that spoke with WBOC said this is not a freak occurrence.
"That happens all the time.  Right across from here, I fish with my father in law right off the wharf, and one day we caught one that had 47, but see they're not going to advertise that because I guess the rockfish is the state fish now," said waterman Larry Powley.
Powley took this reporter out on his boat to show how many striped bass there are in the Chesapeake Bay.  He said he has to throw back most of what he catches because the quotas are too low, which leads to an overabundance of the fish.  He says striped bass will eat just about anything that moves, and since bay grasses are at a low this year due to Hurricane Sandy, the crabs have nowhere to hide.
"We have no grass no more, and the crab just lays on the bottom and gets soft, and that fish is just waiting for him to get soft enough to digest him." said Harry Phillips, owner of Russell Hall Seafood.
Read the full story at WBOC>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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