Menhaden: A Test Case for New
October 2011 • Volume 10, Numbers 2 & 3
Menhaden is a small, oily fish that most people have never heard of. You won't, after all, see menhaden in supermarkets or seafood stores or on restaurant menus. But the fish, along with blue crabs, has dominated the Bay's commercial fisheries for the past 60 years. More pounds of menhaden are landed each year than any other fish in the Chesapeake. It's valuable not only commercially but for the ecosystem — it provides food that sustains striped bass and ospreys and many other predatory fish and birds. With menhaden stocks at their lowest point in half a century, is it time to try a different kind of management? more . . .
Could cutting back on commercial harvests help restore menhaden stocks to a healthy level? Probably not, according to Monty Deihl, the new general manager of the Omega Protein plant in Reedville, Virginia. "We've done this for 130 years, and now there is less fishing pressure on this stock than ever before." more . . .
Who gets first call on the menhaden bounty of the Chesapeake Bay? Omega Protein's large boats that catch menhaden for industrial uses? Or recreational fishermen like Ed Liccone? He'd leave more menhaden as food for the striped bass he likes to catch and release. more . . .
In his new book, Managing the Chesapeake's Fisheries,
scientist Ed Houde says his goal was to help nonscientists understand the forces that cause fish stocks to rise and fall. more . . .
Eugene Burreson is honored for his contributions to Bay science & policy. more . . .
Maryland Sea Grant has a new head for its communications activities, Jeffrey Brainard.
more . . .