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Atlantic menhaden

Menhaden are truly the most important fish in the sea. They are a key forage species for countless predatory species. Menhaden feed on plankton. That means that this little fish cleans the water as it feeds as well as helping to convert the sun’s energy to protein. So, they provide a critical link in the food web between primary production and higher organisms.
Menhaden are currently managed as a single species meant for harvest. There was an overwhelming push in 2016 to manage menhaden for their ecological significance, Despite an enormous public outcry, the decision was made to wait until an updated stock assessment becomes available in 2019.
Currently, the lion’s share of menhaden harvest is being taken by Omega Corp out of a single port, Reedville, VA.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) held its regular summer meeting on August 3-6, when it addressed a number of issues that will impact anglers in New England and the Mid-Atlantic.   Big decision on Atlantic menhaden The biggest news to come out of the meeting was the Atlantic Menhaden Management Board’s (Menhaden Board) decision to

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Fissues.org -- A project of the Marine Fish Conservation Network

Here is our final update for 2019.We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a joyous  holiday season. Action on Menhaden We have been waiting for the next shoe to drop in the ongoing menhaden saga and it did late last week. In a letter dated Dec. 17, Chris Oliver, assistant administrator for Fisheries at

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ASMFC met April 30th to May 3rd, here’s what went down By Capt. John McMurray The Spring 2018 Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) meeting took place last week, and of course, we were there. While there were a number of topics discussed, and actions taken, in the interest of simplification and providing readers with

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As the reduction industry fights to take more fish in the Chesapeake, things get muddied By Capt. John McMurray To those of us who fish, it seems so darn obvious. If you take a HUGE amount of what by all accounts is a critically important forage source for, well, just about everything, out of a

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On March 6, the Richmond Times Dispatch reported that the bill from Governor Northam to keep the Virginia reduction fishery in compliance was killed by the House of Delegates. Omega Protein, a major political donor in Virginia, is fighting a ruling that gave them an 8% increase in quota because it also limited the amount

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Striped bass in Maryland, menhaden in VA, and regional management for black seabass By Capt. John McMurray While there were many issues discussed, and action taken on several different species at last week’s ASMFC meeting, the below are what we felt were issues important to anglers. For the full meeting report, see the Commission’s 2018

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Virginia files an appeal, because apparently, 80% of a public resource is not enough By Capt. John McMurray Last November, the ASMFC Menhaden Board met with the intention of finalizing Amendment 3 to the Atlantic Menhaden Fishery Management Plan. We wrote about the outcome here: With Menhaden, Here’s What Went Down. But the long and

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If Commissioners don’t do the right thing next week, we risk immense localized depletion By Tony Friedrich Several of weeks ago, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, received a letter from John Bull, Virginia ASMFC commissioner stating, “Virginia hereby appeals the decision of the Atlantic Menhaden Management Board (the “Board”) to set the coast-wide total

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2017 was a good year, but in the end, it can all go away pretty easily Let me be clear about something… I’m not done by any means. The stripers are still going, and for sure I’ll get a few, hopefully more than a few, more cracks at them. And, I’m pretty sure, or at

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