Blog Archives

Unprotected: a Timeline of Inaction on the Most Important Fish in the Sea

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Unprotected: a Menhaden Timeline Menhaden has been called “the most important fish in the sea,” because it forms the base of the Atlantic food web, providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for important marine predators. But it is also an anomaly in Atlantic fishery management. Despite 30 years of scientific evidence pointing to the decline of …

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The Secretive Fishery Management Agency that Regulates Your Fish

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On an unseasonably warm evening in September 2011, in Danvers, Massachusetts, a fishery regulator and two biologists were taking comments from the public about the decline of an important forage fish called Atlantic menhaden, when something strange happened. The regulator turned to a lobbyist for Omega Protein, the largest commercial harvester of menhaden, and asked …

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Make Your Voice Heard on Atlantic Menhaden Regulations

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Decision day is upon us. Now it’s time to weigh in. On December 14th, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) will finally decide how much to cut the allowable harvest of Atlantic menhaden — a forage fish that has been overexploited by the commercial fishing industry for half a century. Almost one year ago, …

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Atlantic Menhaden Technical Committee Meeting Minutes

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[Editor's Note: The recommendations of fisheries scientists play a critical role in determining fishing regulations. But unlike regulatory meetings of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which are transcribed, the meetings of the scientific committees are undocumented -- accessible only by attendance. At the Public Trust Project, we make an effort to transcribe, as faithfully …

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No Records Kept: The Potomac River Fisheries Commission’s Mysterious History on Menhaden

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The Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC) has no record of the votes it has made regarding Atlantic menhaden, the controversial forage fish that has been called “the most important fish in the sea” because of its contribution to the diets of dozens of ecologically significant fish, mammals, and shorebirds. PRFC Executive Secretary A.C. Carpenter confirmed …

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Makes Important Changes to its Scientific Process

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The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is taking steps to ensure greater transparency in its scientific committee meetings after industry consultants tried to dominate a subcommittee hearing in May in North Carolina. That meeting, which was reported by the Public Trust Project, included government scientists from state agencies as well as federal researchers who …

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