ARLINGTON, Va. – At the summer meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Atlantic Menhaden Management Board approved the use of ecological reference points (ERPs) in the management of Atlantic menhaden. By adopting ERPs, the board will be accounting for the species’ role as an important forage fish.
“The board took another important step in managing Atlantic menhaden in a broader ecosystem context,” stated Board Chairman Spud Woodward of Georgia.
“The use of ERPs for menhaden management will enhance the success of predator management by providing a more abundant forage base for rebuilding predator fish populations,” he said. “It is important for us to keep those rebuilding efforts on track through the use of proven management tools such as controls on fishing mortality.”
The board also discussed setting fishery specifications for 2021-2022. In 2017, the board set the total allowable catch (TAC) at 216,000 metric tons for 2018-2019, and then maintained that TAC for 2020 with the expectation that it would be set in future years using ERPs.
Contact Kirby Rootes-Murdy, fishery management plan coordinator, at [email protected] or (703) 842-0740.