Native Village 
Youth and Education News

December  2012

The most important fish in the sea is 88% gone
Endangered species Coalition
Condensed by Native Village

You may not have heard of menhaden, but many scientists consider them to be “the most important fish in the sea.” These foot-long filter-feeding silver fish serve a critically important role in the ocean's food chain. Striped bass, bluefish, dolphins, ospreys, terns, whales, and other species depend on menhaden for food.

They need menhaden to survive. 

While menhaden are crucial to the marine food chain, they are fished much faster than they can recover. Every year, more than 400,000,000 pounds are scooped out of the oceans. 90% of menhaden stocks have declined in the last 25 years.

Why?

To be ground up for fertilizer, agricultural feed, and dietary supplements!

Omega Protein is a $100,000,000 corporation responsible for taking 75% of the year's Atlantic catch of menhaden.  And while whales, dolphins, and ospreys don't have high-priced lobbyists to influence decision makers, Omega Protein does. They have successfully fought attempts to reign in their exploitation of menhaden for years.

On Dec. 14, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will make decisions critical to the recovery of Atlantic menhaden and the ocean wildlife that depends on them for food.  Track this campaign and let your voice be heard!

Atlantic Menhaden Campaign

Artwork: Leanin' Tree Christmas Card
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