New England-based fishing boats vacuuming up menhadden for lobster bait. Photo/PEW

Almost every large marine fish and mammal in the waters off New England depends on menhaden (bunker, pogies) for food. But in 32 of the past 54 years (through 2008), menhaden were overfished, and they are now at their lowest level on record, according to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

This fall, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is considering new fishing rules to ensure long-term protection of menhaden. The agency is accepting public comment until November 16.

Anglers, marine conservationists and anyone else who cares about menhaden and the health of the ocean ecosystem should contact the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

For more information on ASMFC, visit To study the proposed menhaden management plan amendment, click on Breaking News on the banner at left and scroll down to Draft Amendment 2 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.

Public comments can be sent to:

  • Mike Waine
    Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
    1050 N. Highland St., Suite 200 A-N
    Arlington, VA 22201
  • Email: (subject line: Amend 2)
  • Call: (703-842-0741)

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