Big Day For Bunker
ASMFC finally starts managing
Fishery managers made a major commitment to rebuilding the Atlanticpopulation Friday, approving the first-ever harvest reduction at a meeting of the ASMFC’s Menhaden Management Board in Baltimore, Maryland. The measure approved by the Board will reduce harvest by 20 percent beginning in 2013.
Known to anglers as bunker or pogies, menhaden play a vital role as a forage fish for game fish including striped bass, bluefish, and bluefin tuna. Recreational fishermen were behind a large portion of the public comment submitted to the ASMFC supporting stricter menhaden management and a large part of the coalition in attendance at the meeting in Baltimore, waving yellow signs supporting menhaden conservation.
The latest menhaden stock assessment showed the stock was undergoing overfishing and abundance estimates were at a low level. The 20 percent reduction in harvest is an interim measure that will be in place until the results of the next benchmark stock assessment are known in 2014.