December 9th, 2016 — Atlantic menhaden are an important forage fish for striped bass, bluefish, tuna and other species. Recreational anglers claim that fishing for these game fish is off when the quantity of forage fish is down. Additionally, Atlantic menhaden are filter feeders with each fish processing thousands of gallons of water filtering out plankton to help prevent algae blooms.
So if you want to impact regulations pertaining to this species, now is the time to become active. There will be an Atlantic menhaden public hearing to talk about important Fishery Management Plan issues on Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Corless Auditorium at the URI Bay Campus, Narragansett. The hearing will address a new Public Information Document that is a predecessor to Amendment 3 to the Atlantic menhaden Fishery Management Plan that will be developed later this year.
NOAA’s website says Atlantic menhaden “play an important role in the ecosystem as both a forage fish for striped bass, weakfish, bluefish, and predatory birds such as osprey and eagles as well as serving as a filter feeder because they feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton at various life stages.”