CBF’s Virginia update on critical action the State Legislature needs to take. PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD CLOSES NOVEMBER 16. Help protect menhaden population in the Bay.
As a companion article in this newsletter details, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is now considering steps to protect and begin restoration of the Atlantic menhaden population. Ensuring that menhaden remain abundant in the Atlantic and the Chesapeake Bay is critical. Described as the “most important fish in the sea,” menhaden provide a major food source for other fish, marine mammals, and birds.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is pushing for fair and reasonable changes to the management plan in order to rebuild the menhaden population and boost opportunities for watermen, anglers, and wildlife:
A 25 percent reduction of the menhaden catch as a first step toward eliminating overfishing.
Achieving the target level fishing mortality within five years.
To avoid undue harm to local fishermen catching menhaden for bait, the allocation scheme should split the new quota 70:30 between the industrial fishery and the local bait fisheries.
Many people have never even heard of this boney, oily, unappetizing fish (also known as bunker or pogy).
But without this little unsung hero, the Bay’s ecosystem would likely collapse.