Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock moved to “concern” in stock status report

Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock moved to “concern” in stock status report

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ 2014 Stock Status Report reclassifies the Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock from “viable” to “concern,” due to biological factors associated with a declining population.

The division annually grades the status of important marine finfish, shellfish, shrimp and crabs as viable, recovering, concern, depleted or unknown. The grades serve as a barometer of the overall health of the state’s fishery resources, and they are used to prioritize development of fishery management plans.

While a 2010 stock assessment concludes the stock is not overfished, several population trends have prompted concern about the status of striped bass fishery. Since 2002, the number of young fish entering the population has declined, causing a steady decrease in landings from the peak harvest in 2004. A new Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock assessment is scheduled to be approved in August, and reductions in harvest limits likely will be necessary.

Striped bass in North Carolina are managed by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and data collected by both agencies are used to assess the status of the stocks. Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan was approved by both commissions in 2013.       

Stocks exhibiting declining landings may be classified as “concern” even if they have an approved stock assessment and fishery management plan, as is the case with the Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock. 

The stock status of all other species remained the same as the 2013 report.

Bluefish, shrimp and summer flounder stocks remained in the “viable” category. A stock is considered “viable” when it exhibits stable or increasing trends in a number of biological factors associated with healthy fish populations.

Spotted seatrout and southern flounder were still in the “depleted” category and are awaiting the completion of state stock assessments that are underway now. A “depleted” stock is one where the population of spawning females or the entire population is too low. Factors that can contribute to this status include overfishing, poor water quality, habitat loss, larvae survival and disease.

Red drum stocks remained in the “recovering” category, and oyster and blue crab stocks remained in the “concern” category. A “recovering” stock shows marked and consistent improvement in the criteria listed for a “viable” stock, but has not yet reached its target.

Full definitions for the stock status grades can be found at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/stock-status-categories-and-definitions.

The complete 2014 Stock Status Report can be found at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/stock-status-reports.

For more information on the 2014 Stock Status Report, contact Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734, ext. 222 or Le**********@nc****.gov.

Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock moved to “concern” in stock status report

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ 2014 Stock Status Report reclassifies the Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock from “viable” to “concern,” due to biological factors associated with a declining population.

The division annually grades the status of important marine finfish, shellfish, shrimp and crabs as viable, recovering, concern, depleted or unknown. The grades serve as a barometer of the overall health of the state’s fishery resources, and they are used to prioritize development of fishery management plans.

While a 2010 stock assessment concludes the stock is not overfished, several population trends have prompted concern about the status of striped bass fishery. Since 2002, the number of young fish entering the population has declined, causing a steady decrease in landings from the peak harvest in 2004. A new Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock assessment is scheduled to be approved in August, and reductions in harvest limits likely will be necessary.

Striped bass in North Carolina are managed by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and data collected by both agencies are used to assess the status of the stocks. Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan was approved by both commissions in 2013.       

Stocks exhibiting declining landings may be classified as “concern” even if they have an approved stock assessment and fishery management plan, as is the case with the Albemarle/Roanoke striped bass stock. 

The stock status of all other species remained the same as the 2013 report.

Bluefish, shrimp and summer flounder stocks remained in the “viable” category. A stock is considered “viable” when it exhibits stable or increasing trends in a number of biological factors associated with healthy fish populations.

Spotted seatrout and southern flounder were still in the “depleted” category and are awaiting the completion of state stock assessments that are underway now. A “depleted” stock is one where the population of spawning females or the entire population is too low. Factors that can contribute to this status include overfishing, poor water quality, habitat loss, larvae survival and disease.

Red drum stocks remained in the “recovering” category, and oyster and blue crab stocks remained in the “concern” category. A “recovering” stock shows marked and consistent improvement in the criteria listed for a “viable” stock, but has not yet reached its target.

Full definitions for the stock status grades can be found at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/stock-status-categories-and-definitions.

The complete 2014 Stock Status Report can be found at the Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/stock-status-reports.

For more information on the 2014 Stock Status Report, contact Lee Paramore at 252-473-5734, ext. 222 or Le**********@nc****.gov.

Share this article

What is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)?

The global conveyor belt, shown here, circulates cool subsurface water and warm surface water throughout the world. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is part of this complex system of global ocean currents.)

The ocean’s water is constantly circulated by currents. Tidal currents occur close to shore and are influenced by the sun and moon. Surface currents are influenced by the wind. However, other, much slower currents that occur from the surface to the seafloor are driven by changes in the saltiness and ocean temperature, a process called thermohaline circulation. These currents are carried in a large “global conveyor belt,” which includes the AMOC.

AMOC stands for Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. The AMOC circulates water from north to south and back in a long cycle within the Atlantic Ocean. This circulation brings warmth to various parts of the globe and also carries nutrients necessary to sustain ocean life.

Continue reading →

Read More

What is latitude?

Latitude lines start at the equator (0 degrees latitude) and run east and west, parallel to the equator. Lines of latitude are measured in degrees north or south of the equator to 90 degrees at the North or South poles.

Lines of latitude, also called parallels, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run east to west, but measure your distance north or south. The equator is the most well known parallel. At 0 degrees latitude, it equally divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. From the equator, latitude increases as you travel north or south, reaching 90 degrees at each pole.

Continue reading →

Read More

What is longitude?

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west. Longitude is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Although latitude lines are alway equally spaced, longitude lines are furthest from each other at the equator and meet at the poles. A transcript is available that describes this infographic content in plain text. (Image credit: iStock)

Lines of longitude, also called meridians, are imaginary lines that divide the Earth. They run north to south from pole to pole, but they measure the distance east or west.

The prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England, has a longitude of 0 degrees. It divides the Earth into the eastern and western hemispheres. The antimeridian is on the opposite side of the Earth, at 180 degrees longitude. Though the antimeridian is the basis for the international date line, actual date and time zone boundaries are dependent on local laws. The international date line zigzags around borders near the antimeridian.

Continue reading →

Read More

What is a barrier island?

Satellite image of Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory.

Barrier islands form as waves repeatedly deposit sediment parallel to the shoreline. As wind and waves shift according to weather patterns and local geographic features, these islands constantly move, erode, and grow. They can even disappear entirely.

They are generally separated from the mainland by tidal creeks, bays, and lagoons. Beaches and sand dune systems form on the side of the island facing the ocean; the side facing the shore often contains marshes, tidal flats, and maritime forests. These areas are important habitat for seabirds, fish and shellfish, and and nesting sea turtles.

Continue reading →

Read More
Keep Reading