Trawlers fishing the Outer Banks were culling their catch, dumping tons of stripers overboard so they would stay within their limit, leaving miles of dead fish floating on the surface.
This was followed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) shutting down the February striped bass gill net season after Natural Resources Police (NRP) confiscated more than 10 tons of illegally caught bass in two days. NRP seized the 20,016 pounds of stripers from four illegally anchored gill nets found in Chesapeake Bay.
Maryland's commercial striped bass fishery is managed on a quota system, in cooperation with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The commercial gill net quota for February is 354,318 pounds. When the illegally harvested striped bass confiscated by the NRP were deducted from the quota, DNR was forced to immediately shut down the fishery.