Menhaden doing just fine in Chesapeake Bay. Catch limit increased 10%.

A multistate agency says there’s plenty menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay, despite previous concerns. They upped the catch limit for 2015 & 2016 by ten-percent.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says previous reports that the Bay was overfished turned out not to be true. They thought schools of menhaden were shrinking in 2012 due to overfishing and cut the catch limit by 20-percent along the East Coast.

Menhaden feeding
Menhaden feeding (Photo courtesy Gene Helfman, NOAA)

The commission says the latest report was more comprehensive. And the fishing industry agreed, saying it was “the most accurate menhaden assessment in recorded history,” according to a Menhaden Fisheries Coalition press release. They represent more than 90 percent of menhaden fishermen and related businesses along the Atlantic coast.

Environmental groups maintain the report leaves out a number of assessments on the state of menhaden. Whitney Pipkin has more about it on BayJournal.com.

Menhaden are small, silvery fish that swim in big schools throughout the Chesapeake Bay. They’re the start of the food chain for bigger fish, birds and many animals in the Chesapeake region. They’re also the fish used most to make fish-oil pills that are used to reduce cholesterol levels.

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