The Extinction of Menhaden? - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:59 AM
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The Extinction of Menhaden?

Hey Guys,

In an article by Paul Greenfield writng for the NY Times, Greenberg discusses the pressure placed on Menhaden population because of popularity of the over the counter dietary supplement, Fish Oil. I am sure that most of you already know that Menhaden population is declining. Rightfully, Greenberg points out to the readers that Menhaden "are the most important fish in the sea" because they are "basis of the Atlantic food chain".

He identifies the main culprit to be Omega Protein of Houston which harvests
90% of the nations Menhaden. In the last year they caught a half a billion menhaden off the coasts of Virginia and North Carolina, the only states that allow menhaden to be taken from the sea.

These are alarming statisitcs! Imagine an Atlantic fishery w/o Menhaden. For those interested I have included the link to the article below.

Steve

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/16/opinion/16greenberg.html?em[/URL]
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:48 AM
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Menhaden are also a filter feeding fish and are largely responsible for keeping the Chesapeake bay clean. Alga blooms caused from various phosphorus based fertilizers and farming have and will become a bigger threat to those waters. When the algea dies their decomposition absorbs oxygen and can be followed by fish kills.

Our current striped bass fishing woes are likely more a result of the conditions in the Chesapeake than either recreational or commercial fishing pressure, not that both are also too liberal in their harvest rules.

It's great to see some attention given to this very important forage base. Lets hope we can see some action to their protection and get the Chessy cleaned up.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:08 PM
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"It's great to see some attention given to this very important forage base. Lets hope we can see some action to their protection and get the Chessy cleaned up"

This is my hope too. I don't live in either NC or VA, but after the appearance of this article in the NY Times, I have written emails and letters to both my congressmen and senators. I'm not a big fan of the Times, but it is influential and hopefully the powers that be will pay attention.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:57 AM
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Steve, I too read the article in the Times a couple of weeks ago, and I think we have two issues affecting menhaden. First it is the deteriorating conditions in the Chesepeake Bay, and second, the continuing harvest by Omega Protein.

Thanks for sharing.
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