[CT Birds] FW: Big victory for little fish!
PCOMINS at audubon.org
Fri Dec 21 10:13:38 EST 2012
Thank you to those who submitted comments on the proposed menhaden harvest limits! These fish are critically essential forage species for birds in Long Island Sound and up and down the Atlantic flyway. They spawn out at sea in the late winter, providing a key food source for Manx Shearwaters and other pelagic birds and then the fry and adults drift back to coastal estuaries, including Long Island Sound, where they form the prey base for Osprey, migrating loons and many sport fish. Terns, including the federally endangered Roseate Tern are known to forage above schools of menhaden as they are being pursued by bluefish. This decision should help to further improve the quality of Long Island Sound for a wide variety of birds. Remember when Northern Gannets and Wilson's Storm-Petrels were rare in CT and you had to hope for a storm to get alcids?
Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488
Phone: (203)264-5098 x308
pcomins at audubon.org
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Hi Mr. Baptist,
Great news! Last Friday, December 14, 2012, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission took a historic step to end overfishing of Atlantic menhaden and to begin to rebuild their population. By adopting the first coastwide catch limit on this fishery, the commission has begun to reverse the 90 percent plunge in the menhaden population over the past three decades.
The 25% reduction from the 2011 menhaden catch (a 20% reduction in catch over a three year average) is a good start. Tens of thousands of people from all walks of life—anglers, business owners, birders, scientists, conservationists, and more—have long been urging this sort of action because they know what menhaden mean for their coastal ecosystem and economy. On Friday, those voices were heard.
Thank you for all your hard work in calling for protection of this important fish. Nationally, menhaden supporters sent in 126,000 comments to the ASMFC. Many of you signed onto letters and postcards that were sent to the Commissioners and the Governor. Also, thank you to those who joined us for the public hearings in October, and those who expressed your concerns about the issue in other ways such as reaching out to your colleagues and submitting letters to the editor to your local newspapers.
Here is an article from today’s New York Times on Friday’s vote: Broad Catch Limits Are Put on an Unglamorous but Essential Fish<https://east.exch024.serverdata.net/owa/redir.aspx?C=t37w6cjF9EqgBG9JTES9OqvOEWrNsM8IJhMZbnPsPvDnhfyJqWcV-EjtWOCLtyG_4gYjDGlzkZs.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fnyti.ms%2fWjB17B> http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/us/catch-limits-put-on-menhaden-unglamorous-but-crucial-fish.html?_r=0
Thank you again to all of you, Governor Malloy, and CT Commissioners Dave Simpson, Lance Stewart, and Craig Miner for your concern for this little fish that have a big impact. Happy holidays!
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