Video: Menhaden Matter
The humble Atlantic menhaden may not look like much, but this fish plays a vital role in the ocean food web. Striped bass, bluefish, whales, dolphins, sharks, and birds like osprey and terns depend on menhaden as a critical food source. But unrestricted industrial fishing endangers menhaden — and in turn, the rest of the marine ecosystem. Already, menhaden have plunged 90% from historic levels. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meets Dec. 14 to vote on a plan to rebuild the menhaden population. Ninety-four scientists, including renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle, recently wrote to the ASMFC making the case for strong protection for menhaden. Pew Environment Group’s Atlantic Menhaden Campaign produced this short video to show how protecting this little fish can have big benefits for our coastal ecosystem.