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New 'Salmon Wars' Book Spreads Menhaden Myths

·2 min read

WASHINGTON D.C. / ACCESSWIRE / July 13, 2022 / Yesterday, Macmillan Publishers released Salmon Wars, a factually questionable book by former Los Angeles Times managing editor Douglas Frantz and former journalist turned private writer Catherine Collins. The book falsely claims that "overfishing from the Gulf of Mexico north to the Chesapeake Bay threatens a slender fish called a menhaden," and inaccurately states that menhaden is "an integral player in minimizing algae blooms because it eats phytoplankton."

According to the February 2020 stock assessment accepted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Congressionally-chartered interstate compact that regulates shared migratory fishery resources among East Coast states, Atlantic menhaden is neither overfished nor is overfishing occurring. A simple cursory review of the assessment clearly illustrates that the Atlantic menhaden population has not been overfished in several decades. Similarly, in 2021, the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission found that the "Gulf of Mexico Gulf Menhaden stock is not experiencing overfishing and is not overfished."

In fact, both Atlantic and Gulf menhaden are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, which operates the world's most respected global fishery certification program. This designation indicates that the stock is "fished in a way that does not threaten the population's long-term health and minimizes the damaging effects of fishing to the surrounding wildlife and ecosystem."

Menhaden Fisheries Coalition, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, Press release picture
Menhaden Fisheries Coalition, Wednesday, July 13, 2022, Press release picture

Mr. Frantz and Ms. Collins also continued to misinform their audience by making the oft-repeated claim that menhaden minimize algae blooms. This statement was discredited in a study conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at the College of William and Mary that proved menhaden do not improve overall water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. The study examined "the amount of phytoplankton and nitrogen consumed and excreted by small groups of juvenile and adult menhaden during 6-hour periods," and found that "older menhaden hardly fed on phytoplankton at all."

The study, published in the February 22, 2010, issue of the Marine Ecology Progress Series, concluded that "based on [their] results as well as ecosystem modeling simulations, menhaden do not appear to represent a significant mechanism for removing nutrient inputs to the Bay."

About the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition
The Menhaden Fisheries Coalition (MFC) is a collective of menhaden fishermen, related businesses, and supporting industries. Comprised of businesses along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, the Menhaden Fisheries Coalition conducts media and public outreach on behalf of the menhaden industry to ensure that members of the public, media, and government are informed of important issues, events, and facts about the fishery.

Press Contact
Bob Vanasse
(202) 333-2628

SOURCE: Menhaden Fisheries Coalition

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