The Coast Guard will intensify efforts to stop offshore poaching of Atlantic striped bass this winter.
In an effort to ensure the health of the striped bass population, the Coast Guard is working to raise awareness of the federal regulations stating Atlantic striped bass may not be caught, harvested or possessed in the Exclusive Economic Zone. The EEZ begins three nautical miles from shore and extends out to 200 nautical miles.
While striped bass are typically found closer to shore, changing sea temperatures can cause them to migrate farther than three miles offshore. A person caught fishing for, or in possession of striped bass while in the EEZ is subject to civil fines.
The Coast Guard has established an Atlantic Striped Bass Reporting Hotline at 757-398-6399. The public is encouraged to report any suspected poaching activity to the hotline. Calls should include a description of the activity, those involved, the location and the time of the suspected offense. Such information greatly increases the effectiveness of law enforcement operations.
“The Coast Guard is working to educate recreational and commercial fishermen and charter boat operators on the federal regulations,” said Lt. Eric Leese of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay’s enforcement branch. “By increasing awareness of the laws we help protect the Atlantic striped bass population, ensuring our nation’s future generations have access to the same resources we have.”