Stripers Forever Symposium

Stripers Forever Symposium Press Release 1/14/06 %7E The concept of managing the wild striped bass on the Atlantic coast as a game fish for recreational fishermen by ending all commercial harvesting of the species will be discussed in depth by a panel of fisheries, conservation and socio-economics experts at a symposium to be held in Foxboro, MA. on May 20, 2006. %7E Under the heading Striped Bass Game Fish 2006, the symposium will be hosted by Stripers Forever, an internet-based advocacy organization, and its partners – the American Sportfishing Association, the Federation of Fly Fishers, and the International Game Fish Association. The symposium will be followed by a banquet/auction. Both events are open to the public and tickets are available at http://www.stripersforever.org/. Managing key saltwater species as game fish has helped greatly to preserve the heritage of sport fishing in U.S. inshore waters and has also affected in a very positive way the economy of several coastal states. The recreational fisheries for redfish in Gulf of Mexico waters and for the snook in Florida are prime examples of this successful management philosophy. %7E Some 3 million-plus anglers annually pursue wild striped bass along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to North Carolina, creating $6.63 billion in economic activity*. But the quality of recreational fishing for stripers has slipped significantly in recent years. %7E “High commercial fishing quotas for striped bass, combined with a burgeoning black market facilitated by the legal market, are seriously affecting the quality of the striped bass fishery,” says Brad Burns, president of Stripers Forever. “A number of Atlantic Coast states have already ended commercial striper fishing, but migrating bass know no state boundaries.” The speakers who will address the historical, social, economic and conservation aspects of this issue at Striped Bass Game Fish 2006 include Russell Nelson Ph.D., an expert on redfish in Florida; Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, a leading provider of socio-economic fish and wildlife information; Mike Freeze, president of Keo Fish Farms in Arkansas, the country’s largest producer of striped bass raised through aquaculture; and Steve Williams, President of the Wildlife Management Institute, and former Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Striped Bass Game Fish 2006 will be held at Christina’s, a large meeting and banquet facility on Route 1 in Foxboro, MA. The symposium will start at 1:30 p.m. For further information, e-mail Brad Burns at [email protected], go to the organization’s website http://www.stripersforever.org/, or call Duncan Barnes at (207) 443-8746. %7E %7E *Excerpted from The Economics of Recreational and Commercial Striped Bass Fishing, January 2005, prepared by Southwick Associates. Stripers Forever is a 100% volunteer internet-based organization with only one purpose, which is to enhance public fishing for striped bass by making the striped bass a gamefish and ending commercial exploitation of this vital recreational species. Wait out or speed up the ad.