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Entries in menhaden (8)


Future Brightens for Menhaden 

Finally some good news for the most important fish in the sea. 

After over a century of fishing without catch limits, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has finally put a cap on the fishery. The new abundance target is four times the current population and the coastwide catch limit will be reduced 20% from recent levels.

LINK (via: Fly Rod and Reel)


A make-or-break moment for ‘the most important fish in the sea’

This Washington Post opinion piece lays out what we already know is at stake in the the fight to protect rapidly declining Menhaden stocks. What we did not know is how Virginia manages Menhaden and how it does not bode well in the fight to protect the most important fish in the sea.

In Virginia, fisheries decisions are made by the state’s Marine Resources Commission — except when they relate to one species. Yes, you guessed it: menhaden, which is instead managed by the 140 members of the General Assembly. This odd arrangement puts politicians, lobbyists and money, rather than scientists, in charge of menhaden. This, it goes without saying, does not bode well for making the tough choices needed now.

LINK (via: The Washington Post) 

The Pew Environment Group has been very active in the efforts to protect Menhaden through their Atlantic Menhaden Campaign. I urge you to spend sometime learning the facts about why it so important to protect Menhaden on the Pew campaign site.

People are paying attention!

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has seen a lot in its 70-year history but nothing quite like this. More than 128,000 people flooded the commission’s inboxes with postcards and emails last month, a new record for public comment. Scientists, small business owners, nature lovers, and anglers sent letters and spoke out at public hearings. And it was all about a fish that almost no one ever eats—Atlantic menhaden.


Menhaden Defenders: Capt. Paul Eidman 

In 1955, menhaden made up 77 percent of the diet of striped bass. Now, menhaden account for just 7 percent. Young striped bass are increasingly eating weakfish juveniles to supplement their diets, putting both stocks at risk. Bluefish eat 30 percent less menhaden than they did in the early '90s.

Striped bass, bluefish and other game fish have lost 90 percent of their favorite food source over the last 25 years alone.


You Can Help Restore Menhaden

Recent evidence shows that menhaden stocks are down 88% in the last 25 years, from 160 billion to 20 billion fish. "The most important fish in the sea” has been put through more than 50 years of overfishing.

Omega Protein, a Texas-based company, is responsible for more than 80% of the Atlantic menhaden harvest. The company uses spotter planes and large purse seines to net schools of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay and in Atlantic federal waters.  Omega Protein grinds its catch into meal and oil, and sells it as an inexpensive commodity, primarily to fish farming operations in Europe and Asia.

Omega Protein has been doing everything it can to prevent the implementation of a total allowable catch and a rebuilding effort. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, they maintain that menhaden are merely suffering from poor recruitment – their half billion pound harvest has nothing to do with it.

Don’t let them get away with it!

The stock is at a record low. Take action to help restore the Atlantic menhaden population to sustainable levels.

Submit your comments directly to the ASMFC by clicking here.

(via: Menhaden Defenders)


A Fish Story

How an angler and two government bureaucrats may have saved the Atlantic Ocean.

LINK (via: The Washington Monthly)


Menhaden Defenders


From Stripers Forever:

Stripers Forever members - Capt. Paul Eidman and his concerned friends have formed Menhaden Defenders to lobby the ASMFC to institute a fairly conservative set of menhaden management guidelines to allow this depleted yet vital forage fish to recover.

We urge everyone concerned with the health of the striped bass resource to take action to help menhaden, one of the striper's most important sources of nutrition. 

Head over to the Menhaden Defenders website to take action. In the center of the home page you'll find a simple to use tool to send a message to the ASMFC, which will make the decision on menhaden harvest levels.