150,000 Public Comments in Support of Menhaden Protection Announced; Most Public Comments Ever Delivered to ASMFC!
(New York, NY Nov. 10, 2017) A record number of Americans are urging the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council (ASMFC) to support protection of Atlantic Menhaden in their upcoming decision. Over 150,000 Americans sent public comments in favor of strong Menhaden protections during the recently completed public comment period. The ASMFC will meet November 14th to decide on Amendment 3—a proposal to provide stronger protections for Atlantic Menhaden that takes into consideration the important role the “most important fish in the sea” plays as both a source of food for other species and filterer of water.
“From striped bass anglers and fishing captains to whale watchers and bird enthusiasts, the varying interests across the east coast that support managing menhaden to account for their importance to ocean ecosystems shouldn’t come as a surprise. Anyone who pays close attention to life in the water has seen first-hand just how important this fish is, and wants to see the species conservatively managed,” said Zach Cockrum, Northeast Regional Representative for the National Wildlife Federation.
The Commission’s Atlantic Menhaden Management Board will meet November 13‐14, 2017 to consider approval of Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden and set specifications for the 2018 fishing season.
Atlantic menhaden (Brevoortia Tyrannus) play a central role in the ecological and economic vitality of the Atlantic coastal ecosystem as an essential food for whales as well as important commercial and game fishes (striped bass, bluefin tuna, bluefish, weakfish, tarpon, sharks), and a host of other marine wildlife. Menhaden play a key role in the regulation of regional water quality by filtering phytoplankton; its food source and a major cause of algae blooms and brown tides.