Illegal fishing could be the cause of N.C. stripped bass deaths

You’ve probably heard of it by now in the news, thousands upon thousands of dead animals popping up around the globe. This occurrence really hit close to home when thousands of dead striped bass off of the North Carolina coast, Dare County specifically, began to surface. But now U.S.  Coast Guard officials are claiming that these fish could be the sign of illegal fishing.

The striped bass, a very sought after fish on the east coast are usually heavily pursued in North Carolina, according to a release from the U.S. Coast Guard 5th District. According to North Carolina department of inland game and fisheries, “Atlantic striped bass may not be caught, harvested or possessed in a zone between three and 200 nautical miles from shore. A person caught fishing for striped bass outside of three nautical miles is subject to fines starting at $100 per fish, according to the release.

Witnesses of illegal commercial, charter or recreational fishing should report it to the Atlantic striped bass hotline at 757-398-6598, contact the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 or to call the National Marine Fisheries Service’s hotline at 800-853-1964.