The MSSA is Working to Provide A Unified Voice to Preserve and Protect the Rights, Traditions and the Future of Recreational Fishing

       Home   About Us   Officers   News    Chapters   Tourn Results   Tidelines   Partners     

Menhaden Muddle Series

By Charlie Hutchinson

The Menhaden Muddle Series is a collection of writings by Charlie Hutchinson, member of the Dorchester County chapter of the MSSA. Charlie began writing a series of articles designed to gain attention and put an end to the devastation of the atlantic menhaden by the reduction fishery. Charlie has published many of these articles and several more in local and state papers. Charlie is MSSA's lead on the menhaden issue and the menhaden muddle series explains the MSSA's position as well as what needs to be done to restore and sustain a healthy menhaden fishery.


Menhaden Muddle #13

MENHADEN UNMUDDLED?

This is the 13th in a series of articles on menhaden. The August 4 meeting of the Menhaden Management Board was distinctly different in character from most previous meetings. The attitude of the commissioners was more directed to cutting thru the technical jargon and getting a proposal in place to begin a restoration process. A motion was made to draft an addendum to the present fishery management plan for action at the November meeting. The motion calls for consideration of a range of % of maximum spawning potential from present level,15%, 25% and 40%. Presently we are at less than 10%. It would seem that to accomplish these goals reductions in harvest would have to be significant depending on what level of stock is to be preserved. The motion carried by 16 to 0.

That is the good news. However it may not be as good as it appears on the surface. Again we are dealing with reproductive capacity. Recruitment has not been good although theoretically there are supposed to be enough of a brood stock out there to sustain the stock .Our scientific community cannot explain why this unsatisfactory condition persists. The explanation is that environmental conditions have more influence in successful reproduction than spawning potential and these factors are unpredictable and unmanageable. Published information suggests that for forage species such as menhaden more than 50% of the spawning stock must remain.

Given guidelines of that magnitude, why was the upper limit restricted to 40%, with much more modest levels given equal chances of adoption?

A second factor is more of an observation than a comment on the particulars of the action. For the second consecutive meeting of this body, motions were passed unanimously in what has been a contentious issue. That is highly unusual and raises my antenna a bit. Lifting it further was the lack of reaction by Omega representatives present to what would appear to be an adverse regulatory process developing. Perhaps what is being considered here is not what we think it is and while looking good on paper doesn't do much for restoring menhaden.

Previous Menhaden Articles:

Menhaden Muddle #33
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE MENHADEN BOARD

Menhaden Muddle #32
WHAT'S UP WITH OMEGA PROTEIN?

Menhaden Muddle #31
MORE VIEWPOINTS ON MENHADEN ECONOMICS

Menhaden Muddle #30
THE OUTFALL FROM BEANTOWN

Menhaden Muddle #29
ANOTHER INCONVENIENT TRUTH

Menhaden Muddle #28

Menhaden ALERT

End Overfishing of Menhaden

Menhaden Muddle #27
NEXT MOVES ON MENHADEN

Menhaden Muddle #26
A CRITIQUE...

Menhaden Muddle #25
SOME MANAGEMENT MEASURES FOR CONSIDERATION

Menhaden Muddle #24
ASMFC'S Challenge

Menhaden Muddle #23
ASMFC'S Dilemma

Menhaden Muddle #22

Menhaden Muddle #21

Menhaden Muddle #20

Menhaden Muddle #19

Menhaden Muddle #18

Menhaden Muddle #17

Menhaden Muddle #16
What would Izaak do?

Menhaden Muddle #15

Menhaden Muddle #14

Menhaden Muddle #13
Menhaden Unmuddled?

Menhaden Muddle #12
What's next for Menhaden Management?

Menhaden Muddle #11

Menhaden Muddle #10

Menhaden Muddle #9

Menhaden Muddle #8

Menhaden Muddle #7

Menhaden Muddle #6

Menhaden Muddle #5

Menhaden Muddle #4

Menhaden Muddle #3

Menhaden Muddle #2

Menhaden Muddle #1


HomeAbout UsOfficersNewsChaptersTournament ResultsTidelinesPartners

Join us on Facebook
Join NOW!President's MessageExecutive Director's ReportBay Fishing LocationsCaptain of the YearEducationCalendarFishery MgmtLegislative ActionLinksMSSA MerchandiseScholarship FoundationWeather & Tides
Contact Us

8461C Ft. Smallwood Road • Pasadena, MD 21122 • 410-255-5535
Copyright 2008 - Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association