December 14, 2012
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Statements on Menhaden Conservation Plan
(BALTIMORE, MD)—The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) has been a leader over the past decade working to achieve a more sustainable population of Atlantic menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast. CBF issued the following statements after today's decisions by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to reduce annual harvests of menhaden in order to begin restoring the population:
CBF Hampton Roads Senior Scientist Chris Moore said:
"CBF roundly applauds the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission for adopting a strong, science-based plan to better protect menhaden, a fish vital to the marine ecosystem and to important commercial fisheries. The commission's action is a critical first step toward restoring healthy menhaden stocks along the Atlantic coast and in the Chesapeake Bay. It is historic and ultimately will benefit the Bay, wildlife, watermen, and anglers.
"It is equally critical that East Coast states from Maine to Florida implement the commission's management plan. This is especially important in Virginia, where 80 percent of the coastwide menhaden catch is landed."
CBF Virginia Executive Director Ann Jennings said:
"In Virginia, the menhaden fishery is the only one managed by politicians, not scientists. CBF urges Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and the Virginia General Assembly to adopt the commission's management plan during the 2013 legislative session. Failure to do so could result in sanctions that threaten the livelihoods of thousands of hardworking Virginians."