Regulators Delay Protection of Bunker in Chesapeake Bay

Conservation and recreational-fishing organizations were frustrated when a multi-state regulatory commission postponed action to protect Atlantic menhaden in Chesapeake Bay in favor of more research into the ecological role and depletion of the species. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the 15-member interstate body responsible for managing the stock, will meet with its scientific advisors to develop a management plan, and in the meantime demurred an option to cap the harvest at current levels. Menhaden Matter, a group that includes the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association, Environmental Defense and the National Coalition for Marine Conservation, emphasized that proactive management measures including catch limits — must be taken soon to protect the important fish. For information, visit www.menhadenmatter.org.