For the purposes of carrying out this chapter, the Secretaries shall conduct continuing, comprehensive studies of Atlantic striped bass stocks. These studies shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1)Annual stock assessments, using fishery-dependent and fishery-independent data, for the purposes of extending the long-term population record generated by the annual striped bass study conducted by the Secretaries before 1994 and understanding the population dynamics of Atlantic striped bass.
(2)Investigations of the causes of fluctuations in Atlantic striped bass populations.
(3)Investigations of the effects of water quality, land use, and other environmental factors on the recruitment, spawning potential, mortality, and abundance of Atlantic striped bass populations, including the Delaware River population.
(A)the interactions between Atlantic striped bass and other fish, including bluefish, menhaden, mackerel, and other forage fish or possible competitors, stock assessments of these species, to the extent appropriate; and
(B)the effects of interspecies predation and competition on the recruitment, spawning potential mortality, and abundance of Atlantic striped bass.
(b) Socio-economic study
The Secretaries, in consultation with with  the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, shall conduct a study of the socio-economic benefits of the Atlantic striped bass resource. The Secretaries shall issue a report to the Congress concerning the findings of this study no later than September 30, 1998.
The Secretaries shall make biennial reports to the Congress and to the Commission concerning the progress and findings of studies conducted under subsection (a) of this section and shall make those reports public. Such reports shall, to the extent appropriate, contain recommendations of actions which could be taken to encourage the sustainable management of Atlantic striped bass.
1997—Pub. L. 105–146amended section catchline and text generally, substituting provisions relating to continuing studies of striped bass populations for provisions relating to comprehensive annual surveys.
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