1) No one took a guess, and I really am in need of some extra sets of eyes on these specimens. So please help!
2) There is a time-sensitive matter involving management of menhaden stocks. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is now entertaining an amendment to the management plan for Atlantic menhaden. Menhaden have been in decline since their last population peak in the 1980s, and the ASMFC is proposing ways to address the problem. Changes in catch limits, as well as new caps on bycatch of menhaden during seasonal closures of the menhaden fishery are part of this amendment. ASMFC is a deliberative body with members drawn from Maine to Florida, so nothing better parallels our SEANET membership!
The public comment period on this amendment closes tomorrow at 5pm, so this is your chance to have your say. The language is amendments like this one can be bewildering, and if you aren’t sure how to interpret it, or what to say in your public comment, may I be so bold as to recommend a few advocacy groups that have looked at the issue and made statements on the matter?
National Audubon provides a form letter you can submit online in support of strong final action on the amendment. If you choose to submit via this route, I encourage you to add your own thoughts to the letter as provided. I appended my strong support for the new rules, citing my professional and personal interest in sustainable prey bases for our beloved seabirds.
The Pew Environment Group’s Atlantic Menhaden Campaign also has a link to add your name to a petition in support of strong, science-based regulations on the take of this critical species.