What ASA is Doing
ASA and many other recreational fishing and environmental organizations have been working for years to advance the way that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) manages Atlantic menhaden. A shift away from a single-species management approach to one that better accounts for the important role that menhaden play in the ecosystem (including as a prey species for many popular sport fish) would be beneficial.
Similar effort exists in the Gulf, but the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC) that coordinates management for Gulf Menhaden operates differently from ASMFC in that it lacks the regulatory authority to force states to implement management, so management is essentially voluntary by the states.
In 2020, ASA engaged Keep America fishing supporters on separate menhaden issues in Virginia, the Atlantic states and in Louisiana generating communications to key decision-makers in state legislators, fish and game organizations and regulatory agencies.
In May 2021, ASA engaged Keep America Fishing supporters in Louisiana. Legislation had been proposed that would have established a buffer zone to protect sensitive coastal areas from damage caused by industrial menhaden fishing. KAF supporters were generated letters to the Louisiana House and Senate on three separate activations. The legislation was passed by the House by a margin of 67-28. However, the final Senate proposal significantly reduced the size of the coastwide buffer zone, which our coalition simply could not accept. We look forward to continuing our efforts for next year’s legislative session.
In April of 2022, ASA again engaged Keep America Fishing supporters in Louisiana. A bill, known as H.B. 1033, was approved by the House and is about to be considered by the Senate Natural Resources Committee.