Alert from JCAA – Menhaden Amendment
Here’s some important information from Paul Haertel at the Jersey Coast Anglers Association
As you probably know, the ASMFC is seeking comments on Amendment 3 of the Menhaden Fishery Management Plan. Below you will see a narrative written by Paul Eidman describing the best choices of the options offered.
It’s important that everyone submit their comments before the October 20th deadline. You may use the following electronic link (www.menhadendefenders.org) which will direct you to an easy to use submission process. It will only take a minute of your time so please do this.
Comments sent by regular mail carry more weight than the electronic comments. Send them to:
Megan Ware, FMP Coordinator
1050 N. Highland St. Suite A-N
Arlington, VA 22201
Re: Draft Amendment 3
We ask everyone to submit both electronic and regular mail comments. Please share and “Let the voice of the recreational angler be heard!”
Draft Amendment 3 Comments
Dear ASMFC Commissioners,
Ecological management of menhaden and effective conservation will
improve the productivity of this resource over time, increasing
menhaden’s value to every state and stakeholder through improved
recreational fishing, commercial fishing and seafood industries, and
wildlife and tourism businesses that all depend on an abundance of
menhaden. The current approach that ASMFC uses for setting catch limits
is wrong for menhaden, because it ignores their importance to the
ocean food web and to other fisheries.
Issue 1: Reference Points
Ecological management is right for menhaden, so Option E is the best solution now. Menhaden must be managed conservatively to 75% of virgin biomass. The current management system risks huge increases in catch which could have a direct impact on the striped bass recreational fishery and potentially many other fisheries.
Issue 2: Quota Allocation
Tier 1: Option C, Jurisdictional Allocation with a Fixed Minimum, Sub-option 3 allocating a fixed minimum of 2%, is the best option on the table, but an even larger reallocation is appropriate. The current quota allocation for menhaden gives more than 85% of the fishery to Virginia, leaving the remainder of the states to split the rest. This is inherently unfair and must be fixed. Reduction fishing has been banned in every state on the E. Coast, except Virginia, so it makes no sense that the one state that still allows it gets 85%. At the same time, commercial bait harvesters outside of VA are begging to catch more fish. If option C is not possible, a reasonable alternative is a 70/30 split for
reduction/bait coastwide, and no increase in catch.
Issue 3: Quota Transfers
Quota transfers encourage horse trading of fish and they should not be allowed.
Issue 4: Quota Rollovers
Option A – No quota rollovers – is the most appropriate option.
Issue 5: Incedential Catch and Small Scale Fisheries
Option F – All catch to be included in cap.
Issue 6: TAC set aside
Option C is the best option with a 0% of TAC set aside
Issue 7: Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is an important nursery for menhaden that eventually migrate across the coast. Option B – Reducing the cap and set at 51,000 MT for the Chesapeake should be adopted along with Sub-option B- No rollover of unused cap. Over the preceding years, catch in the bay has fallen drastically.
This option is an opportunity to further protect the nursery.
Thank you again for doing what you did back in 2012. We have all seen
what can happen when the bunker are given just a little chance to
recover. As fishermen and concerned citizens, we thank you in advance
for voting in favor of the above conservation options in November!
Capt. Paul Eidman, Chairman
Forage Species Committee