In spite of being considered “the most important fish in the sea,” menhaden don’t get the respect they deserve. To manage their numbers wisely, we must recognize their relationship to other species and to the marine ecosystem as a whole – rather than as just one little fish in a big ocean – or suffer the consequences.
Not only are menhaden a key food source for sportfish species like striped bass, bluefish, red drum, king mackerel, and cobia, but nearly every predatory fish, mammal and bird eats them at some point in their life cycle. That’s why they shouldn’t be managed as a single species.
Increasing their abundance will help ensure not only strong populations of sportfish, but a healthy ecosystem from top to bottom.
Current management practices need to be updated to avoid a conservation crisis. It’s time to recognize the critical role menhaden play in the marine environment.
At an upcoming meeting, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will finalize a new management plan that will affect menhaden and all the other species that depend on them.
Between now and that final decision, anglers have an opportunity to make their voices heard. Send a message to the ASMFC today or attend
the Florida Meeting in Melbourne Beach on October 10, 2017
Tell the ASMFC to support Option E in Amendment 3 to the Atlantic Menhaden Management Plan.
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