Menhaden Return From Near-Endangerment

Menhaden Fish

Menhaden Fish

Kaeden Brown

Menhaden Return From Endangerment

Extinction is a scary, yet inevitable thought, so how did the Menhaden escape it? The menhaden is a small fish that is found along the east coast. In 2006, their population greatly decreased due to overfishing, so fishing limits and regulations were put in place. 

“Population disappeared for years due to overfishing,” said a Fisherman who was interviewed by NPR. Over the course of 15 years, the menhaden population has replenished itself. Because of this recent development, some of those restrictions have been lifted, and lighter ones have been implemented. This is a very interesting story because it proves that with some regulation, anything can be saved.

What are the implications?

Knowing that having a few laws and rules on the fishing of menhaden completely saved them is a good sign. This shows that other species, and the planet in general can be saved just by rules and regulators. Having better regulators for things like factory CO2 emissions and other things that are detrimental to the environment would help with the climate crisis. Africa is the continent with the highest amount of endangered species and that is most due to unregulated hunting for things like ivory and other valuable animal resources. This is a problem that we, as a planet, have to fix.

Complications in the Law Making

While the laws and regulations were in the process of being passed, there were many that tried to fight them.

“The company maintains that the 41 percent decrease in the Bay cap has never been based on science, and is unnecessary for the conservation of the menhaden fishery,” was a statement made by Omega, a fishing company. Despite all of the resistance, the laws were passed and the menhaden continue to live. Mass fishing of them is limited to 17 barrels as of right now.