The Menhaden Constituency: These Are Your Fish – Own Them!
The menhaden industry does not own the resource, it belongs to all of us. Make sure your voice is heard!
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is holding hearings and taking written comments on Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. The focal point of the amendment, as far as conservationists and the majority of east coast fishermen are concerned, is setting new, precautionary standards, known as “ecological reference points” or “ERPs”, designed to leave enough menhaden in the water for dependent predators while allowing reasonable yields to the menhaden fisheries.
We enjoy the fisheries menhaden support, directly and indirectly, value the wildlife it sustains, and benefit socially and economically from a healthy and diverse ocean environment. The public pays the costs of management – from stock assessments and all the science that goes into them to fisheries regulation, monitoring and enforcement. The ASMFC has a responsibility to manage and conserve menhaden for the greatest benefit to the nation as a whole.
How and when to comment
Members of the public are encouraged to submit comments on Draft Amendment 3 during the public comment period, which is open now. Comments must be received by 5:00 PM (EST) on October 20, 2017. And check out this list of public hearing locations and dates to find one near you.
Key Points to Make
- Say you support ERP Option E because it is the best science available and will protect menhaden’s ecological role NOW, not later
- Insist that the ASMFC manage to the TARGET. Maintaining this level of abundance in the water is the goal for a forage species, not simply preventing a collapse (threshold)
- Emphasize that Option E will provide interim protection for menhaden while studies continue, but the results of those studies are uncertain and years away
- Support Chesapeake Bay Reduction Fishery Cap Option B with Sub-option B. The Chesapeake Bay is the most critical nursery area for Atlantic menhaden. This option would reduce the allowable reduction fishery catch to the most recent 5-year average and would prevent unused catch from rolling over into subsequent years.
- Remind the ASMFC that menhaden belong to the public and tell the commissioners why you, personally, care about the future of menhaden!
Want more details? Check out our blog on Draft Amendment 3.
Comment by Mail: Megan Ware, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, 1050 N. Highland Street, Suite 200 A-N, Arlington, VA 22201
Comment by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject: Draft Amd. 3)
For more information, phone (703) 842-0741
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