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A letter signed by 118 scientists led by Professor Ellen Pikitch of Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) makes the case for the importance of managing menhaden, the leading forage fish on the Northeast Atlantic Coast, with an ecosystem based approach. The current approach by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Menhaden Management Board (ASMFC) is to manage catch of the forage fish as if they don’t compete with other species or other species do not depend on them. The scientists believe that if the status quo remains populations of important larger fish for consumption, such as striped bass, cod and tuna will be affected. On November 13, the ASMFC will vote on whether to continue managing menhaden as a single species or start an ecosystem based approach.

For more background see the letter from scientists and this Q & A.

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