Date: 9/6/17 11:31 am From: Patrick Comins via CTBirds <ctbirds...> Subject: [CT Birds] Menhaden Hearing Coming Up
Save the date, Monday, September 11th 7 PM - 9 PM at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Boating Education Center, 333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, Connecticut.
This is an important hearing regarding changes to the regulations affecting the harvest of menhaden (bunker), a fish species critical to the health of Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. Menhaden are a critical food source for many species of birds, including Osprey, Common and Red-throated Loons, Northern Gannet, other seabirds in addition to sport-fish and marine mammals. Menhaden are a big reason that we have been seeing more seabirds in Long Island Sound and this is a critical issue not just to birds but also birding. The return of Menhaden to Long Island Sound has been a key factor in recent improvements in the bird life, sport fishing opportunities and marine mammal sightings in Long Island Sound. We must keep up this momentum! Please stay tuned for more details, but I hope you will join us in support of "the most important fish in the sea".
Basically we need as many people as possible to show up in support of Option E in section 2.6 of Amendment 3, which would direct the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to move immediately to interim ERPs while menhaden-specific ERPs are developed. This option will ensure ecosystem-based management by aiming to leave 75% of menhaden pre-fishing biomass unfished, and ensure the population never drops below 40%.