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Public Hearing on Pogy Conservation Measures in Melbourne, FL, Dec. 1



From the Florida Sportsman newswire today comes this update from Pew Charitable Trusts:

SPEAK UP FOR ‘THE MOST IMPORTANT FISH IN THE OCEAN'

Also known as bunker, pogy, and fatbacks, Atlantic menhaden are an important food for tarpon, cobia, king mackerel, osprey, humpback whales, and other predators, some of which are in decline. These forage fish too supply the largest fishery on the east coast, which removes menhaden from the marine foodweb for use as fish meal and fish oil. Decades of overfishing whittled down menhaden numbers, particularly in the northern and southern extents of their range.

Florida once saw massive schools of Atlantic menhaden, which fueled our fisheries and coastal wildlife. With your help, we can set the stage for their triumphant return.

On Thursday, December 1, 2016 6 p.m. at Melbourne City Hall the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will hold a public hearing on its new Public Information Document (PID) for Draft Amendment 3 and accept written comments until 5 p.m. January 4, 2017. The PID will tackle quota allocation and most importantly, proposes a range of different methods to manage the menhaden resource based on their role as prey using ecological reference points (ERPs). Specifically, the interim approach described by Option D on page 8 of the PID, will use the best available science to guide management based on the needs of marine ecosystems from Florida to Maine.

Only one public hearing is being held south of North Carolina and that is right here in Melbourne, Florida. Please turnout as many anglers, coastal businesses, birders, and other conservationists as you can on December 1 for this rare and precious opportunity to speak up for menhaden and the fish, wildlife, and people who depend on them.

Contact Cameron Jaggard 202-590-8954 for more information.

Here's a link to the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/127130617767121/?active_tab=about

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