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Fishery Managers to Review Menhaden Plan

September 21, 2007
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The National Coalition for Marine Conservation (NCMC) went before the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) at its December meeting to offer a new plan to conserve menhaden. Overfishing in Chesapeake Bay, where menhaden are concentrated, has diminished the ecological role of this small but critically important prey fish. The NCMC recommended the ASMFC seek to ensure an adequate supply of menhaden as forage for striped bass and other predators, and preserve its critical role as a filter feeder in cleansing coastal waters of excess nutrients. Representatives from three other groups testified as well. The ASMFC directed its scientific advisors to review mounting concerns about the diminished ecological role of Atlantic menhaden in February, with emphasis on depletion in the Chesapeake. Following this review and input from the public, the Commission will consider amending its menhaden fishing regulations when it reconvenes this spring. The NCMC presented the Commission with a petition signed by thousands of anglers from Maine to Florida and a statement summarizing evidence of existing or pending ecological crisis in Chesapeake Bay and beyond. For more information, visit www.savethefish.org.

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