• Ben Martens

PODCAST: Menhaden Updates with Megan Ware of Maine DMR

Menhaden have been referred to as "the most important fish in the sea" by at least one author (book) due to their importance to the Atlantic ecosystem. For over a decade in the 2000s, menhaden were commercially absent from the Gulf of Maine and herring were the predominant forage and bait source in Maine. Recently though, the menhaden biomass has rebounded which has allowed the species to expand its range into the Gulf of Maine allowing it to become a pelagic bait fishery for Maine fishermen once again.

With the pogy dramatically changing their presence north of Cape Cod over a short period of time, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), is working to reassess who gets to catch those fish at a time when many are looking for access to this valuable fishery.

In this episode of Maine Coast Dock Talk, we're joined by Megan Ware of the Department of Marine Resources, to walk us through menhaden management, outline what's been happening within this fishery, why the allocation setting process is so hard, why Maine had to shut down the fishery this fall, and how fishermen can add their voice to the management of Menhaden.

You can find Maine Coast Dock Talk everywhere you listen to podcasts.

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If you are interested in commenting on the ASMFC Atlantic Menhaden Draft Addendum I to Amendment 3 of the Menhaden Fishery Management Plan

The public comment document can be found HERE

Comments will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EST on September 30, 2022.

You may submit public comment in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Attend public hearings pertinent to your state or jurisdiction

  2. Refer comments to your state’s members on the Atlantic Menhaden Board or Atlantic Menhaden Advisory Panel.

  3. Mail, fax, or email written comments to the following address:

James Boyle

Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

1050 North Highland St., Suite 200 A-N Arlington, VA 22201

email (subject line: Atlantic Menhaden Draft Addendum I)