Atlantic Menhaden Management Update : MENHADEN MUDDLE #19

by Charlie Hutchinson
Menhaden as a species doesn’t get much play. Most people don’t know what they are much less what they are worth. By contrast, almost everybody knows about striped bass. What is not well recognized is that the health of the highly prized striper is inexorably tied to the availability of the lowly menhaden. It is puzzling to me how the commissioners on the Menhaden Management Board, who also sit on the Striped Bass Management Board, have not put these two together when making decisions about the condition of the menhaden stock. I am including, below, a recent report by the Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation which clearly demonstrates this relationship. From recent reports by Stripers Forever, it appears the lack of menhaden in New England waters is having a marked effect on Striped bass landings. So, if you are a striper fan, you might wish to contact the ASMFC and let them know that corrective action on menhaden restitution is vital to avoiding more trouble with your favorite fish.

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