More than 80 fishermen expressed their points of view on primarily recreational fishing quotas, proposed regulation options and user group proposals on Monday night at the URI Bay Campus.
Comments were recorded to pass along to the Rhode Island Marine Fisheries Council for its March 2 meeting; they will then be passed along to DEM Director Janet Coit as part of the input she will receive for her decision-making process.
Written comments concerning the proposed regulations may be submitted, until noon on Feb. 26, to Peter Duhamel, Division of Fish and Wildlife Marine Fisheries office, 3 Fort Wetherill Rd., Jamestown 02835. They can also be emailed to [email protected].
Striped bass took center stage on Monday night, with nearly an hour and a half of discussion at the meetings. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which sets regulations for East Coast migratory species, has approved a limit of one fish at 28 inches for all anglers, with the caveat that states could come up with conservation equivalency options as long as they achieve at least a 25-percent reduction in striped bass landings in 2015.
Some for-hire party and charter boat operators advocated for two fish at 32 inches for their customers, claiming their customers' impact on the fishery is minimal and that their business contributes greatly to tourism and the broader economy.
Capt. Denny Dillon, representing the Rhode Island Party and Charter Boat Association, said the industry contributes $25 million annually to Rhode Island’s economy.
But a group of 10 bait and tackle shops, represented by Peter Jenkins of the Saltwater Edge in Newport, supported an across-the-board one-fish, 28-inch limit. Commercial fishermen at the meeting agreed.
Read the full story at the Providence Journal>>