Characterization of Sturgeon and Other Regulatory Discards in Virginia’s Spring Striped Bass and Other Gill Net Fisheries
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Marine Advisory Program (MAP)
Fishery Resource Grant FRG 2007-04
The striped bass anchored gill net fishery in Virginia is of great importance to Virginia's commercial finfishermen. Anchored gill nets are the predominant gear for striped bass in Virginia's coastal and estuarine waters. Reflecting this, they also have the highest rate of Atlantic Sturgeon bycatch (85%) in Virginia waters when compared to other gear types (NMFS). This could cause potentially serious problems because the Atlantic sturgeon has recently been undergoing a Biological Status Review for possible listing under the Endangered Species Act. Recognizing this as a possible threat to a very important fishery, Virginia commercial fishermen propose continued proactive sturgeon data collection to help lay the foundation for restoration and protection of the species so it may fulfill its proper place in the Chesapeake Bay and connected marine and estuarine ecosystems.
We proposed to continue to document Atlantic Sturgeon (relative abundance), mortality, age distribution, genetic diversity, essential fish habitat (EFH) and habitat area of particular concern (HAPC) as well as other data that is vitally needed by fishery management through a cooperative study with Virginia Sea Grant (VaSG). All goals included in this study were accomplished.
Trice, G. E. (2007) Characterization of Sturgeon and Other Regulatory Discards in Virginia’s Spring Striped Bass and Other Gill Net Fisheries. Fishery Resource Grant FRG 2007-04. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary. https://scholarworks.wm.edu/reports/2245