NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Did the Chesapeake Bay Turn the Corner in 2011
2011 may go down in history as the turning point for the Chesapeake
Bay. The largest estuary in the United States, the Bay’s watershed
includes almost 20 percent of the country’s Atlantic coast and produces
an estimated 500 million pounds of seafood every year.
In many ways, unfortunately, the Chesapeake Bay is ground zero when looking at the environmental impact of our food production. Inundated by pollution from factory farms, as well as sewage treatment plants, vehicle exhaust and power plant emissions, the Bay’s reputation as a high quality source of crabs and seafood has suffered over the years.
Analysis: Contray to the article's assertions, menhaden are currently not considered to be overfished. There is also no consistent pattern of overfishing; in the last ten years, menhaden have been overfished only once, while the stock remains at its target abundance level.
There is also a considerable body of scientific literature, including the study by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science cited in the article, that menhaden contribute little to overall water quality, and adult menhaden do not filter a significant amount of the phytoplankton that contributes to water problems in the Bay.
January 8, 2013 -- Ultimately, although all sides support a large, healthy, sustainable menhaden population, stakeholders are diametrically opposed on the means used to achieve that. The ASMFC's decision is really just an educated guess as to what's best for the vital menhaden fishery.
- Research from Maryland's Oxford Cooperative Lab suggests climate is why striped bass and menhaden are not plentiful at the same time