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Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539

Last Friday was a very good day for our fish! Update from Menhaden Defenders, December 18, 2012. (Thanks to Janet Messineo for providing this update)

Dec 29

Written by:
12/29/2012 10:22 AM  RssIcon

Last Friday was a very good day for our fish!

This past Friday, December 14, 2012 was a very good day for our fish! After over a century of fishing without catch limits, there is now a cap on the fishery! We all listened intently as many solid ecosystem based decisions were made at a special Atlantic Menhaden meeting held by the Atlantic States marine Fisheries Commission in Baltimore, Maryland.

 

The meeting was exciting and tense at times, especially when Omega’s yellow shirted unionized employees circled the room at decision time. Pro conservation anglers and citizens held bright yellow signs overhead. There were over 200 people in the room from both sides and the Chairman was very strict to avoid outbursts of any kind and repeated at times, that he will “empty the room”.

 

ASMFC Board Chair Louis Daniel of North Carolina states “Given the stock is experiencing overfishing and is most likely overfished based on the newly adopted reference points, it was incumbent upon the Board to reduce landings in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the resource and the fisheries that depend on it.”

The key points from Friday are:

·         New total allowable catch limit for the entire fishery was set at 170,800 metric tons. This TAC begins in 2013 and is based upon a 20% reduction from the past three years landings. Important to note that the Chesapeake Bay cap that was set back in 2006 will also be reduced by 20%.This is great news for our ailing MYCO infected stripers!

·         New biological reference points for biomass based on maximum spawning potential (30% MSP) were adopted. This will help the bunkers increase in abundance, increase the spawning stock biomass as well as bunker availability as a forage species.

·         Fishery allocation breakdown is as follows: 85% to reduction (Omega) and 15% to the Bait sector. Allocation will be on a state by state basis.

·         The Amendment also establishes requirements for timely reporting and improved biological monitoring.

For more information, contact captpaul@menhadendefenders.org

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