Thursday, August 5, 2010

Striped Bass-The Virginia Story

July 2010: "... the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is expected to decide whether to adjust the striped bass commercial quotas allocated to coastal states, and the Commission then will know whether it is feasible to remove the no-take slot limit." as posted in the Virginia Marine Resource Commission website .

I represent the Virginia Commercial Fishermen and we are responding to the proposal to increase the quota for striped bass. Currently the quota is shared by both commercial and recreational fishermen. As a fishermen spokesperson we believe increasing the quota would benefit us substantially. Right now recreational fishermen are the ones benefiting from the quota limit where they seem to catch more fish than we do and we are stragling trying to maintain the quota and meet the needs of the industry. The report listed in says it best for us and I quote the following paragraph which explains in greater detail why we feel the way we do.

"The Draft Addendum proposes two changes to the striped bass management program: (1) an increase in the coastal commercial quota, and (2) revising the definition of recruitment failure based on Technical Committee advice. The proposal to increase the coastal commercial quota is intended to improve equality between the commercial and recreational fishery sectors. Although Amendment 6 established management programs for both fisheries based on the same target fishing mortality rate, the implementation of state-specific quotas for coastal commercial harvest (and not for recreational harvest) has prevented the commercial and recreational fisheries from responding equally to changes in striped bass population size. Since 2003, coastal commercial harvest has decreased by 3.6 percent, while recreational harvest has increased by 13.7 percent. Under the option, the Board would select a percent increase to be applied to the coastal commercial allocations assigned in Amendment 6."

2. What do you think about the rule change?
  • My own personal opinion is that the ban should continue to be enforced.

  • The species is still gaining strength in the numbers and since it takes 2 to 8 years in some cases for a striped bass to reach maturity.
  • Because the Striped Bass is such as desired fish the state needs to protect the interest of this fish before if goes into a slow extinction.

Lab Observations:

This is my first time seeing a striped bass disected or any other fish for that matter. We learned the first thing to do when disecting or gutting the striped bass is to find where the head stops and the body begins. The striped bass is organized along a lateral line, a big nerve. Also, the striped bass has similar organs as humans due including a liver, and a stomach. It has gills instead of lungs and a tongue.

One thing I thought was fascinating was how organized the fecal matter flowed out of the fishes body in a very organized way sort of like a tube. The fat is mostly near the skin and is the darkest parts which is saturated by blood.

Regarding the recipes for striped bass. I've never cooked the striped bass before but do cook other fishes at home like Salmon, flounder, haddock, cod...but most of the time I do like to make them as a ceviche. I found the following recipe in the following link and I thought it might be one most would enjoy.


Ceviche Clásico

From chef Rick Bayless

Makes about 4½ cups, enough for 8 as an appetizer, 12 as a nibble

Working ahead: The fish may be marinated a day in advance; after about 4 hours, when the fish is "cooked," drain it so it won't become too limey. For the freshest flavor, add the flavorings to the fish no more than a couple of hours before serving.


· 1 pound fresh skinless Pacific halibut, striped bass or wild Alaskan salmon, cut into ½-inch cubes or slightly smaller

· 1½ cups fresh lime juice

· 1 medium white onion, chopped into ¼-inch pieces

· 2 medium-large (1 pound total) tomatoes, chopped into ¼-inch pieces

· Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

· 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish

· 1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives (choose manzanillos for a typical Mexican flavor)

· 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin (optional but recommended to give a glistening appearance)

· Salt

· 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice or ½ teaspoon sugar

· 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

· Tostadas, tortilla chips or saltine crackers for serving

To marinate fish

  1. In a 1½-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine fish, lime juice and onion. You'll need enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float somewhat freely; too little juice means unevenly "cooked" fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Pour into a colander and drain off lime juice.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, green chiles, cilantro, olives and optional olive oil. Stir in fish, then taste and season with salt, usually about ¾ teaspoon, and orange juice or sugar (the sweetness of the orange juice or sugar helps balance some of the typical tanginess of the ceviche). Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately.
  3. Just before serving, stir in the diced avocado, being careful not to break up the pieces. To serve, you can either set out ceviche in a large bowl and let people spoon it onto individual plates to eat with chips or saltines; serve small bowls of ceviche (perhaps spooning it onto a bed of frisée lettuce in each bowl) and serve tostadas, chips or saltines alongside; or pile the ceviche onto chips or tostadas and pass around for guests to consume on these edible little plates. In any case, garnish the ceviche with leaves of cilantro before setting it center stage.

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