Atlantic Menhaden Interstate Fishery Management Plan Amendment 3

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atlantic menhaden
Atlantic Menhaden

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) recently set the total allowable catch of Atlantic menhaden for the 2018 and 2019 fishing seasons at 216,000 metric tons (mt).

ASMFC also approved Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Menhaden.

Amendment 3 maintains the program’s current single-species biological reference points until the review and adoption of menhaden-specific ecological reference points as part of the 2019 benchmark stock assessment process.

Amendment 3 reduces the Chesapeake Bay cap from 87,216 mt to 51,000 mt. which was first implemented in 2006 to limit the amount of reduction harvest within the Bay

Amendment 3 caps recent Chesapeake Bay menhaden reduction landings at current levels, recognizing the importance of the Chesapeake Bay estuary as nursery grounds for many species.

Amendment 3 also addresses a suite of commercial management measures including allocation, quota transfers, quota rollovers, incidental catch, and the episodic events set aside program.

The plan will maintain the quota transfer process, prohibit the rollover of unused quota, maintain the 6,000 lb trip limit for non-directed and small-scale gears following the closure of a directed fishery, and set aside 1% of the TAC for episodic events in the states of New York through Maine.

Amendment 3 changes fishery allocations in order to strike an improved balance between gear types and jurisdictions. The Amendment allocates a baseline quota of 0.5% to each jurisdiction, and then allocates the rest of the TAC based on historic landings between 2009 and 2011.


Chesapeake Bay Region State Allocations (allocation percentages based on a 0.5% fixed minimum during the 2009-2011 timeframe.)

New York 0.69%

Pennsylvania 0.50%

Delaware 0.51%

Maryland 1.89%

Potomac River Fisheries Commission 1.07%

Virginia 78.66%


States must submit implementation plans to the Commission by January 1, 2018 for final implementation by April 15, 2018.

Amendment 3 will be available on the Commission’s website,, by the end of November.

source: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

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