This writer has been following the Menhaden fishery since the 1990s. During that time, there have been debates about the health of the bunker. When its all said and done, the assessment from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Service Menhaden Management Board is the benchmark. This week, the board approved Draft Addendum I to Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden for public comment.
The Board also reviewed the results of the 2022 Atlantic Menhaden Stock Assessment Update, which indicates the resource is not overfished nor experiencing overfishing relative to the current ecological reference points (ERPs). In 2021, population fecundity, a measure of reproductive capacity, is above both the ERP threshold and target and total fishing mortality is below both the ERP threshold and target. The stock assessment update extended the 2019 Atlantic Menhaden Single-Species Benchmark Stock Assessment model with additional years of data from 2018-2021 and made some changes to the model structure. Work is also underway for an Atlantic Menhaden-specific ERP Benchmark Assessment, which is scheduled for completion in 2025.
The Assessment Update will be posted to the Commission’s website by mid-August at http://www.asmfc.org/species/atlantic-menhaden under Stock Assessment
For more information, please contact James Boyle, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at
email@example.com or 703.842.0740.