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Entries in the most importanr fish in the sea (5)


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.


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)


A Fish Oil Story

Paul Greenberg of The NY Times writes an op-ed on the demise of Menhaden and what it means for the rest of the eco-sstem. He references H. Bruce Franklin's book, “The Most Important Fish in the Sea” which is a must read if you care about the future of fishing stocks. As Greenberg points out, it's time to start putting pressure on the administration and the state goverments of Virginia and North Carolina to end the commercial harvest of this important fish.  LINK