Dramatic Vote for Menhaden

November 12, 2011 By: Marshall Cutchin

After receiving more than 90,000 comments from the public on a possible reduction in the allowable take of menhaden, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission reached a historic vote Wednesday to reduce catches by as much as 37 percent.

H. Bruce Franklin, author of  The Most Important Fish in the Sea: Menhaden and America, “said a better step would have been to get rid of the so-called reduction fishing industry — harvesting menhaden for the manufacture of meal and oil — altogether,” reported Abby Goudnough in The New York Times.

Commercial harvester Omega Protein Inc. expressed outrage, saying, “We knew we were going to take a cut, but this is a little too much to swallow.’’ David Abel for the Boston Globe.