(LINTHICUM, MD)—The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Menhaden Management Board today voted to continue with the status quo for managing the menhaden fishery rather than immediately adopt limits that would take into account menhaden's role in the food chain.
This decision is part of an update to the ASMFC's management plan for menhaden, known as Amendment 3. The Board is expected to vote on additional issues for the menhaden fishery tomorrow, including the coastwide quota and Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery cap.
In response, Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) Senior Regional Ecosystem Scientist Chris Moore issued the following statement.
"It's disappointing that the Board voted to continue with the status quo rather than adopt new standards to protect this key food fish. Predators up and down the Atlantic Coast rely on menhaden, from whales to striped bass to osprey.
"There has been overwhelming public support for making sure that enough menhaden are left to serve their role in the food chain. But the ASMFC has decided to wait to move forward until technical work groups have finished the development of ecosystem-based models for menhaden.
"The only way to make sure we have a healthy ecosystem is by taking a look at the big picture when managing the menhaden fishery. We will continue to advocate for implementing a strong ecosystem-based approach for the menhaden catch as soon as possible."