Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Delaware to open recreational black sea bass season
by emergency regulation at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 19
DOVER (May 18, 2012) – Delaware will open its black sea bass season at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 19 by an emergency regulation issued by DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. Delaware’s opening comes after the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released its recreational black sea bass regulation today, declaring without advance notice that the recreational black sea bass season would open in federal waters on the aforementioned time and date. By simultaneously opening state waters for recreational black sea bass fishing through the emergency Secretary’s Order, Delaware will be consistent with the NMFS ruling.
A black sea bass management region extending from Delaware through North Carolina is formally recognized by Addendum XXI of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass fisheries management plan approved in 2011 – and Delaware’s black sea bass regulations, as per the management plan, are kept consistent with federal regulations.
Consequently, Delaware’s regulatory process begins when the federal regulations are published. However, because the federal regulation was published only today and will open Federal waters tomorrow, Delaware’s standard regulatory process, which normally takes four months, would not allow Delaware to open its black sea bass season tomorrow. Therefore, to maintain consistency with the Federal recreational black sea bass regulations, DNREC Secretary O’Mara issued an emergency order to open Delaware’s black sea bass recreational fishery on Saturday, May 19.
All other states in the management region that includes Delaware – Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina – have already stated their intent to open their seasons on May 19, thus Delaware anglers and associated businesses would have been denied this angling and economic opportunity if the state did not also open its season at the same time.
“Delaware anglers would miss out on a great fishing opportunity – and businesses that serve the anglers, such as bait shops and charter boats, would suffer economic loss if Delaware did not open its black sea bass season on May 19th,” said David Saveikis, director, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife. “The emergency Secretary’s Order gives our anglers the same opportunity to catch black sea bass as anglers in our neighboring states.”
Vol. 42, No. 182