Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) – The Coast Guard is intensifying efforts to stop poaching of Atlantic Striped Bass off the coast of Virginia this winter.
Currently it is illegal for fishermen, both commercial and recreational, to catch, harvest or even have Atlantic Striped Bass in what is known as the Exclusive Economic Zone.
That zone, known as the EEZ, starts three nautical miles off shore and extends out 200 nautical miles, in what are known as federal waters.
The Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act was passed back in 1984 to counteract the severe population drop of the fish.
“Throughout the centuries, they were so overfished because they are so good,” explained Master Chief Petty Officer Stephen Atchley, the officer-in-charge of the Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater. “We over-fished them and over-fished them and over-fished them almost to extinction.”