U.S. Commerce Dept. sides with ASMFC. Menhaden moratorium to be imposed.

The U.S. Department of Commerce has upheld the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) finding that the State of Virginia has failed to comply with the Chesapeake Bay menhaden harvest cap, setting in motion a moratorium on harvesting the forage fish beginning June 17, 2020.

“This is tremendous win for all of us in the recreational fishing industry as well as the species we all know and love as fly anglers that rely on this important forage fish species,” said Ben Bulis, AFFTA President. “We’re proud to have voiced our industry’s strong support of ASMFC’s recommendation to Secretary Ross.

A healthy marine ecosystem is more than just big-fish numbers. It takes the sustained abundance of forage fish like menhaden to support an abundance of larger predatory species like striped bass, bluefish, tuna and more. And given the challenges we’re facing with diminishing fish stocks with stripers and bluefish in particular, this moratorium will most definitely be one important step in helping rebuild stocks.

We thank the Department of Commerce, NOAA and the ASMFC for ensuring that necessary action will be taken to protect this vital piece of our marine fisheries.”

Read AFFTA’s letter of support here.
Read the Dept. of Commerce response to ASMFC here.

AFFTA guides the sustainable growth of the fly fishing industry through trade development and stewardship. We accomplish this by advocating for the industry and empowering our members to improve their businesses through collaboration, education and building community; along with advocating for healthy fisheries and engaging our members and partners to support protection, restoration, and access.


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