Menhaden Coalition Letter to Braddock Spear from Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

The Menhaden Coalition
July 11, 2010

Braddock J. Spear
Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator for Policy
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
1444 Eye Street, NW,  Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Spear;

I am writing to you on behalf of 35 organizations which share a common concern over the current depleted state of Atlantic Menhaden. The members are listed on the next page.

Over the last 25 years, stock abundance has steadily declined to a historic low point, 88% below the 1984 assessment. We are concerned that such a precipitous reduction in the menhaden forage base threatens both the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay eco-systems, whose fish, bird and mammal populations require a healthy menhaden population.

There is much more at stake here than the economic viability of the commercial fishery. The indirect benefit of a healthy menhaden population translates to a profound economic benefit to recreational anglers, the marine trades industry, and to hospitality/tourism businesses.

We urge your immediate attention to establishing the requirements for a viable coastal menhaden population, and the necessary harvest restrictions required to accomplish that goal.

Respectfully,
F L Benson Jr
F. L. (Jerry) Benson Jr.
for The Menhaden Coalition
Encl.

The Menhaden Coalition

The Menhaden Coalition recognizes the critical role of menhaden in the ecosystems of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.  Accordingly, we seek responsible management of the fishery so that menhaden are present in sufficient quantity to fulfill their ecological role as forage for fish, bird, and mammal predators.

ORGANIZATION                    REPRESENTED BY
Coastal Conservation Association Virginia        Kevin Smith
Chesapeake Bay Foundation                 Chris Moore
Virginia Association of Marine Industries           Kevin Duffan
Tidewater Marine Trade Association of Va.         Randy Stephens
Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation        Jim Price
Virginia Council of Angling Clubs            Bob Allen
National Coalition for Marine Conservation      Ken Hinman
American Sportfishing Association             Mike Leonard
James River Association                 Bill Street
Virginia Conservation Network             Nathan Lott
Striped Bass Conservation Coalition            Warren Turner
Stripers Forever                        Brad Burns
Greenpeace                        Phil Kline
Peninsula Saltwater Sport Fishing Association      Nelson Ortiz
Tidewater Angler’s Club                Bill Swanner
Friends of the Rappahannock                John Tippet
Northampton County Anglers’ Club            David Barbee
Portsmouth Anglers’ Club                Jack Austin
Falmouth Flats Fly Fishers                Tony Harding
Great Bridge Fisherman’s Association            Debbie Hurst
Virginia Beach Anglers’ Club                 Butch Eason
Fly Fishers of Virginia                    Phil Johnson
Green Top Sporting Goods                Vance Hopkins
Lateral Line Fishing Apparel                Brandon White
Bass Pro Shops                         Greg Bulkley
Virginia Anglers Club           Johnny Wetlaufer, Mike Ostrander
Virginia Fly Fishing Festival                Beau Beasley
Coastal Conservation Association Maryland     Tony Friedrich
Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen’s Assoc.    Charlie Hutchinson
Virginia Coastal Fly Anglers                Kevin DuBois
Plum Island Surfcasters (MA)           Kevin McGrath, Kevin Moore
Hopewell Saltwater Anglers                Dick Broyhill
Pennsylvania Striped Bass Association
Save the Bunker                        Paul Eidman
Jersey Coast Anglers Association            Ed Cherry

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