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Species Highlight: Striped Bass

Summer here in New England means a lot of different things; beach days, vacations, water activities, and of course, seafood! When I think of seafood in the summer, Striper, also known as Rockfish or ‘Rock’, is a big one that comes to mind. Almost anywhere on the Coast from Canada all the way to Carolinas, striper fishing is happening throughout the Summer! Recreational fun occurs all around the species of Striper. So, what’s so special about this species? Well, to start they’re a pretty tasty fish and it’s even better when you know your meal is coming from the coastline 20 minutes away right? Striper fishing is also a big job for some people. Being from New England, you have either been striper fishing yourself, or know someone who does during the summertime.

Striper fishing is strictly regulated for sustainability purposes. There are regulations using a tagging system which make it a responsibly harvested fish. Every striper caught is tagged for tracking purposes. Stripers have rather long lives, up to 30 years, and can grow up to 80 pounds and 5 feet in length but they typically average between 5-25 pounds, rarely ever seeing one over 50 pounds. As for fishing, there are hot spots found all over the New England coast. A few in our local area include Boston Harbor, Buzzards Bay, and plenty of spots on the North Shore like Gloucester. Commercial Striper fishing is primarily done using hook and line methods and the same goes for recreational. This maintains minimal to no habitat damage when fishing. The commercial seasons begins end of June but the migration up the coast in New England starts as early as Spring. You will find most of the striper coming up from the South are landing in the South Shore area such as Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard before they make their way up to the North shore during the summer months. As for the North Shore, Gloucester and other coastal towns are prime spots for striper fishing, as well as other game species.

As for cooking and preparing, striper doesn’t need much. Caught locally, you’ll be able to taste the freshness. It is very versatile when it comes to cooking methods, but it is a firm fish that holds well on the grill which coincides with grilling season and summer barbeques. Just a simple marinade and some grilled vegetables on the side and you’ve got the perfect New England Summer meal. For us, striper is one of the species that helps our commitment to being “America’s One-Stop-Shop for Seafood.” Everyone wants to hear that their fish dinner was locally caught, but for most fish, they aren’t necessarily caught right next to where you live. That’s not the case for striper, this is a fish you can eat confidently knowing it was caught locally and recently! Whether you’re out at a local restaurant or picking up dinner from your usual fish market, make sure to try the Striped Bass during the short window it’s available. You’ll be wishing it was available year-round.

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