The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is now accepting comments on proposed changes to its menhaden management plan—changes that could determine whether this vital fish thrives or struggles in the future.
Menhaden—a small, silvery, nutrient-rich fish—is a vital link in the Chesapeake Bay's food web. This critical fishery serves as an important food source for striped bass, birds, and marine mammals. But the Chesapeake Bay has not been seeing the number of young menhaden it did historically, raising concerns for scientists, anglers, and anyone who cares about the health of the Bay.
The ASMFC is considering revisions to its fishery management plan and accepting public comments.
We believe that it is essential that ASMFC prioritize menhaden's important ecological role as it considers Amendment 3 to the fishery management plan. We're advocating management to:
- Ensure menhaden are managed for their important role as a forage fish in the ecosystem—ensuring that enough fish are left in the water to support their many predators.
- Guarantee unused quota in menhaden harvests are not carried over into the next year's harvest.
- Ensure all the menhaden catch is included in the coastwide Total Allowable Catch (TAC).
- Reduce the current cap on reduction harvest in Chesapeake Bay to address ongoing concerns about low menhaden abundance.
Join us at this public hearing to tell ASMFC you want a strong, ecosystem-based management plan for "the most important fish in the sea."
Public hearing dates and locations:
Can't make a hearing? Send a message to ASMFC right now.