The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has raised the annual harvest quota for Atlantic menhaden fish meal/oil by 6.45% for fisheries and bait fisheries.
Photograph by Brian.Gratwicke/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-2.5
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has raised the annual harvest quota for Atlantic menhaden fish meal/oil by 6.45% for fisheries and bait fisheries. Omega-3 ingredient supplier Omega Protein Corp. (Houston) announced the quota increase last week, which is based on recent assessments findings the Atlantic menhaden stock remains strong.
The quota increase, which will take effect for the 2017 Atlantic menhaden fishing season, brings the total amount of Atlantic menhaden that Omega Protein and independent bait fisherman can land to 200,000 metric tons, according to Omega Protein. In its announcement of the quota change, the supplier noted it has harvested Atlantic menhaden for more than a century and is heavily invested in keeping the resource healthy and sustainable.
“We were pleased by the ASMFC’s judgment to increase the menhaden quota by 6.45%,” said Bret D. Scholtes, CEO of Omega Protein. “A growing number of observed sightings of very large menhaden schools have validated the strong findings of the ASMFC’s most recent assessment. This illustrates to us that there should be no doubt that the stock is robust and healthy enough for increased harvest.”
Assessment Confirms Health of Gulf Menhaden Stock
Omega Protein also recently announced the results of an assessment by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) that found the Gulf of Mexico menhaden stock is “neither overfished nor experiencing overfishing.” By analyzing catch records, port samples, daily logbooks containing fishing locations, and two sets of fishery-independent surveys, GSMFC finds the menhaden stock in the Gulf of Mexico is “very healthy.” It also notes that fishing mortality rates decreased throughout the 1990s, with low fishing mortality rates and high fecundity still seen today.
“The 2016 update of the Gulf of Mexico menhaden stock assessment is extraordinarily positive,” said Peter Himchak, senior fisheries scientist from Omega Protein. “The probability to the stock experiencing overfishing or becoming depleted is remote.”
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