Menhaden Fisheries Coalition Analysis Finds 92 Percent of Atlantic Menhaden Already Left In Water to Serve Ecological Role

A new analysis from the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition (MFC) finds that current management leaves 92 percent of Atlantic menhaden to serve their ecological role as forage for predators. The analysis is based on data from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) 2017 update stock assessment of Atlantic menhaden. The MFC has produced an infographic illustrating this analysis, which is available here.

About the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition

The Menhaden Fisheries Coalition is a collective of menhaden fishermen, related businesses, and supporting industries. Comprised of over 30 businesses along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition conducts media and public outreach on behalf of the menhaden industry to ensure that members of the public, media, and government are informed of important issues, events, and facts about the fishery.

Atlantic Menhaden: Fishing By the Numbers

According to an analysis from the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition, between 2004-2013, the menhaden fishery only harvested an average of 6.4 percent of the total menhaden population. This leaves over 93% of menhaden left in the ecosystem as forage for birds, fish and other sea creatures. Menhaden fishing mortality, which hit an all-time low in the last assessment, is dwarfed by natural mortality, which accounts for predation and mortality from other causes outside of the fishery.