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Hearings on New Regulations for Striped Bass and Black Drum

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is holding two hearings in Delaware on proposed management plans for Atlantic striped bass and black drum.

The striped bass hearing will be held Thursday night, followed by the black drum hearing next Tuesday.

The commission is considering a mandatory commercial tagging program for all states or jurisdictions with commercial striped bass fisheries. The proposal would also increase penalties for illegally harvested fish. The changes are in response to recommendations of a task force investigation on illegal commercial striped bass harvesting in the Chesapeake Bay. That probe resulted in more than $1.6 million in fines against 19 individuals and three corporations.

Next week's hearing involves a proposed first step to developing a fishery management plan for black drum.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.