The U.S. Coast Guard is ready to issue fines to anglers who catch striped bass outside of the allowable boundary, officials say.
Striped bass are federally protected within the “Exclusive Economic Zone,” which begins three miles offshore. The prohibition allows striped bass “to grow and prevent overfishing” said Lt. Matthew Kahley, an officer who deals with fisheries enforcement at Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia.
The fine is $500 per fish, and anglers caught with more than five fish could face even larger fines, according to NOAA spokesperson Kate Brogan. NOAA assists the Coast Guard with enforcing the regulation.
In the release, the Coast Guard acknowledges that the excitement and passion that comes with striped bass fishing sometimes results in anglers losing track of their location.
To prevent straying into the Exclusive Economic Zone, the agency recommends that captains use electronic charts and marine band radio.
“Protecting marine resources has long been a Coast Guard mission, and we have Coast Guard members out actively patrolling and enforcing these rules,” said Kahley. “If we find someone who is fishing for Striped Bass in the prohibited area, they should expect to receive a violation.”