25 July 2013

• Is the Absence of Bunker Responsible for Long Island Sound Being So Murky?

“Just five years ago, the shores of the Peconic Bays were littered with the carcasses of dead menhaden, driven up on to the beaches by swarms of hungry bluefish running in late spring….

”This year, however, menhaden, known colloquially as bunker, are few and far between, leading environmentalists to worry that we’re in danger of losing a crucial link in the ecosystem….”

“’The muddy brown color of the Long Island Sound and the growing dead zones in the Chesapeake Bay are the direct result of inadequate water filtration — a job that was once carried out by menhaden,’ says the essayist Paul Greenberg in a 2009 article in The New York Times. ‘An adult menhaden can rid four to six gallons of water of algae in a minute. Imagine then the water-cleaning capacity of the half-billion menhaden we “reduce” into oil every year.’”

Read the full article at this link: EastEndBeacon.com

• The Paul Greenberg Op-Ed Item On Menhaden

”…Nearly every fish a fish eater likes to eat eats menhaden. Bluefin tuna, striped bass, redfish and bluefish are just a few of the diners at the menhaden buffet. All of these fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids but are unable themselves to synthesize them. The omega-3s they have come from menhaden.

”But menhaden are entering the final losing phases of a century-and-a-half fight for survival that began when humans started turning huge schools into fertilizer and lamp oil. Once petroleum-based oils replaced menhaden oil in lamps, trillions of menhaden were ground into feed for hogs, chickens and pets. Today, hundreds of millions of pounds of them are converted into lipstick, salmon feed, paint, ‘buttery spread,’ salad dressing and, yes, some of those omega-3 supplements you have been forcing on your children….”

Read the full item at this link: NYTimes.com

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