During the past month, we were asked to sign a letter in support of strict rules on overfishing of a small fish most of us have never heard. The fish is the Atlantic Menhaden and it is a very important prey species for a lot of creatures including Stripped Bass, Osprey, Common Terns and Puffins. In recent years, the fishery is in decline because of liberal catch limits. Action is needed because a crisis is in the making not only for the predators but other businesses that rely on the fish for existence. The letter was sent to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Some of the uses of this fish include grinding it up for animal feed, extracting its oil which is used in the cosmetic industry for lipstick. The accompanying cartoon makes all to clear as to who is on the loosing end of this unregulated activity.
You can read a copy of the letter that NEPAS sent to Gov. Corbett urging him to support stronger regulation of the fishery. The letter and sign on to the ASMFC was one of 128,000, the most sent in the 70 year history of the ASMFC!
We will keep you informed of the outcome due this month.
– Barb Leo, Conservation Chair