15 November 2011

A Really Interesting Article About Menhaden

”Eventually, after the Civil War, when menhaden were used to make oil for industry in addition to their uses in farming, the drop in the menhaden population became so catastrophic that commercial fisherman rioted in Maine, burning down a "menhaden reduction" factory in 1870.

"The Maine legislature outlawed the menhaden reduction industry in 1879, but it was too late for their state, as menhaden have never returned to Maine waters in the numbers they were found in before.

"(The 'reduction' industry is named for its role in reducing menhaden to commodities -- oil, solids and meal -- not for reducing the population of fish in the sea... although it does both rather effectively.)”


”During its meeting last week, the ASMFC agreed with its scientific advisors and set more conservative fishing standards to help menhaden stocks recover. The fishery, the largest on the East Coast by weight, has exceeded the designated "safe fishing target" every year since 1960. As a result, the population is at less than 10 percent of historic levels.”

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