Menhaden are not overfished, NOAA update confirms

Published on
October 6, 2015

NOAA Fisheries' Chesapeake Bay Office recently updated its "Menhaden Facts" webpage and, in doing so, confirmed the sustainability of the Atlantic menhaden fishery, according to the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition.

The page update states that “Atlantic menhaden are not overfished, and overfishing is not occurring,” a conclusion NOAA based on the latest benchmark stock assessments for 2015. The 2015 Atlantic menhaden stock assessment came after years of research and observation courtesy of state and federal scientists, and finds that the harvesting of the fish is being done sustainably. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries acted on this news in June, when it increased harvests by 10 percent.

Now that NOAA has updated its Atlantic menhaden page, official confirmation of the species viability has been set, said the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition: “Both agencies — NOAA and the ASMFC — have now officially declared the species to be sustainably harvested and managed. The Menhaden Fisheries Coalition is committed to continuing that sustainability into the future,” concluded the coalition.

The release of the 2012 Atlantic menhaden stock assessment resulted in a 20 percent cut in the harvesting of the species, a cut that the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition continues to question regarding its legitimacy.

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