[CT Birds] Menhaden Hearing Coming Up
aecollins83 at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 15 10:05:55 EDT 2017
As I understand it, Amendment 2 created the first baseline for total allowable catch of Menhaden, based on a single metric of population size. This was enormously beneficial to the total population levels.
Amendment 3 was proposed to consider creating a more sophisticated metric based both on menhaden population as well as the other species depending on menhaden, such as fish, bird and marine mammals. This was originally intended when Amendment 2 was created, but the process to create those metrics is complex and will not be completed until 2019.
The draft amendment 3 first published in October 2016 stated that establishing those ecosystem-wide metrics was the goal of the amendment. The second draft amendment published in August deleted that reference and substituted language about ensuring the resource was sufficient to "meet the needs of all user groups". This substitution obviously raised alarms since one of those user groups includes large fish processing plants that account for a majority of the harvest, hence the calls to calls for the commission to adopt of the options based on the ecosystem-wide metrics.
The complete draft of the Amendment is here:
From: CTBirds <ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org> on behalf of Nick Bonomo via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2017 8:59 PM
To: Patrick Comins
Cc: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Menhaden Hearing Coming Up
To anyone familiar with Atlantic Menhaden conservation, I would
appreciate some clarification.
Amendment 3 is up for public comment (and there was a meeting on
Monday night, which I could not attend because I was working).
As far as I can understand, 2013's Amendment 2 "established a
first-ever commercial total allowable catch (TAC) for Atlantic
menhaden and divided this catch into commercial quotas for
participating jurisdictions from Maine through Florida."
As a birder/fisherman who spends some time on the sound from April
through November, a positive effect on Menhaden (AKA Bunker)
population in Long Island Sound was felt almost immediately. This is,
I believe, the third consecutive summer in which the menhaden
population, young and adult, have exploded in LIS. Schools of these
fish are everywhere.
I'm wondering how the proposed regulations for Amendment 3 differ from
those imposed by Amendment 2, which obviously had a major impact
Any information on, or correction to, what I've said above, would be
very much appreciated.
Also, of the options presented, what makes option E so desirable? How
does it compare to the other proposed options? My knowledge of fish
population conservation is limited and I did not have the time to read
the entire document.
On Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 2:30 PM, Patrick Comins via CTBirds
<ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
> Save the date, Monday, September 11th 7 PM - 9 PM at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Boating Education Center, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, Connecticut.
> This is an important hearing regarding changes to the regulations affecting the harvest of menhaden (bunker), a fish species critical to the health of Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Menhaden are a critical food source for many species of birds, including Osprey, Common and Red-throated Loons, Northern Gannet, other seabirds in addition to sport-fish and marine mammals. Menhaden are a big reason that we have been seeing more seabirds in Long Island Sound and this is a critical issue not just to birds but also birding. The return of Menhaden to Long Island Sound has been a key factor in recent improvements in the bird life, sport fishing opportunities and marine mammal sightings in Long Island Sound. We must keep up this momentum! Please stay tuned for more details, but I hope you will join us in support of "the most important fish in the sea".
> Basically we need as many people as possible to show up in support of Option E in section 2.6 of Amendment 3, which would direct the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to move immediately to interim ERPs while menhaden-specific ERPs are developed. This option will ensure ecosystem-based management by aiming to leave 75% of menhaden pre-fishing biomass unfished, and ensure the population never drops below 40%.
> Please see the below link for more information on the hearing.
> Thank you!
> Patrick M. Comins
> Executive Director
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