Ban Gill Nets

Stripers Forever - our friends at the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Assoc. have a bill in the MD legislature to ban the use of gill nets in MD waters. Gill nets are barbaric devices that lend themselves to being fished illegally, as many arrests and convictions have proven. We ask our members everywhere to support this legislation, which while not game fish designation, is a material and necessary step in the right direction for striped bass management in Chesapeake Bay.

We have prepared the letter below - feel free to modify it as you wish - and we are asking you to send this information to the important policy makers in Maryland. A list of the correct contacts is located at this LINK. Open up an e-mail, paste in the letter, then copy and paste thee-mail addresses provided into the address space. You should be able to highlight the entire list and send to them all at once. If you have trouble, though, it will only take an extra minute or two to send each one individually.

Change is tough, but we have solid conservation legislative activity now in North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Maryland. This is the good fight. Give it a few minutes of your time. Here is the letter to copy and paste into your e-mail:

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Support SB1032 (put this in the subject of your e-mail, it may be all that they read)

Dear Maryland Legislator

I am writing as a concerned citizen of the United States of America. Striped bass spawn in Chesapeake Bay, but most live their lives the majority of the year in the waters of every state from Maine to North Carolina. This fish is extremely important to me as it should be to you., I support conservation measures for this most important species for the recreational fishing public in my own state and I ask you to do the same in Maryland.

Gill nets are barbaric and cruel instruments by which to harvest fish, but in addition they have proven to be excellent tools for criminals to disguise their illegal activities. Gill nets fish on after they have been illegally left in place, killing not only the intended fish, but other species which happen by, including marine birds and animals. The Maryland DNR does not have the funds or staff to search for illegal gill nets, nor should they need to do so. There is no place in this world for the use of gill nets in commercial fishing, and this is especially true when it comes to a great sport fish like the striped bass.

Right now the striped bass population is in serious trouble. According to NOAA, the Atlantic Coast recreational catch of striped bass has declined by 70% since 2006, and there are several consecutive years of poor spawning success that are now coming into the fishery. We need to conserve this important resource right now, and getting rid of an outdated harvesting technique like gill nets is a sensible start. As a country, our track record for the stewardship of our marine resources gets an F. Please be part of the solution. I ask you to support SB1032.

Sincerely; Your name goes here