Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Hampton Roads Senior Scientist Chris Moore recently issued a statement regarding the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s proposed changes to the management of Atlantic menhaden:
“The number of young Atlantic menhaden entering the population each year has been down for nearly 20 years, and the total menhaden population is at its lowest level on record. The last peer-reviewed population estimate showed menhaden are currently overfished and have been for 32 of the past 54 years.
CBF is calling for changes to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s management plan in order to rebuild the menhaden population, including:
- A 25 percent reduction of the menhaden catch as a first step toward eliminating overfishing.
- Achieving the new target fishing mortality rate within five years.
- Allocation of the harvest at a 70:30 split between the industrial fishery and the local bait fisheries to avoid undue harm to local fishermen catching menhaden for bait.
source: Chesapeake Bay Foundation