Southern Kingfish Association: Menhaden Vital To Ocean Life

October 18, 2012 — The decline of menhaden stocks has caused interest in the health of our oceans. Particularly from Nova Scotia to Texas coastal waters where menhaden once ruled nearshore waters. After a limited search for menhaden while navigating our sport  fishing boat out to sea and coming up empty handed, we broke out a box  of frozen cigar minnows and placed them into a saltwater filled bucket  to thaw. Also called frozen popsicles, frozen cigar minnows are packed  into five-pound boxes and used for a wide variety of fishing purposes.  In recent years with the decline of coastal baitfish schools, boxes of  frozen cigar minnows are frequently finding their way in fish coolers.

The article blames an alleged lack of menhaden in the Jacksonville, Florida area on commercial fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, over 600 miles away. This argument relies on anecdotal evidence from observations made by one boat on one day, and the schooling patterns of menhaden during two days of a fishing tournament.

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