2015 Atlantic Menhaden Benchmark Assessment

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Atlantic menhaden stocks are not overfished nor experiencing overfishing relative to the current maximum spawning potential (MSP) based biological reference points, according to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) 2015 Atlantic menhaden benchmark assessment.

Population fecundity, a measure of reproductive capacity, is estimated to be 71% higher than the target value. Additionally, total fishing mortality is estimated to be 0.27, below both the fishing mortality threshold (2.98) and target (1.03).

The benchmark stock assessment was recently approved for management use by the ASMFC Atlantic Menhaden Management Board.

Atlantic menhaden is harvested by both commercial reduction and bait fisheries. From 2010 to 2012, reduction fishery landings averaged 172,600 metric tons and are substantially lower than historical levels.

Total bait landings have been increasing in recent years, averaging about 52,900 metric tons during 2010-2012, with peak landings of about 63,540 metric tons in 2012. In 2013, landings for both fisheries were reduced by 20%, consistent with the requirements of Amendment 2.

The final Atlantic Menhaden Benchmark Assessment and peer review will be posted to the ASMFC website the week of February 9th.

For more information, visit www.asmfc.org.

source: Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

This article was originally published to commercial-fishing.org: February 13, 2015.