Rhode Island PolitiFact Meter Shows The Pew Environment Group “Facts” are MOSTLY FALSE!

liars-all-arounds“In recent years, menhaden numbers along our coast have plummeted by 90 percent.”

Pew Environment Group on Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 in a newspaper advertisement

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is scheduled to vote today, Dec. 14, on whether to cut the catch limit for Atlantic menhaden.

Environmentalists say the menhaden population, a crucial part of the Atlantic ecosystem, has dropped to dangerous levels. Menhaden are an important food source for tuna, cod, striped bass, whales, dolphins, ospreys and eagles.

“Governor Chafee: When this little fish disappears we’re in big trouble.”

Our ruling

The Pew Environment Group said that “in recent years, menhaden numbers along our coasts have plummeted by 90 percent,” a very specific number. It says overfishing must be halted to rebuild the population.

The estimated number of menhaden is clearly well below the estimated population for the late 1980s. But it’s currently at levels seen in the 1960s.

If you want to claim a 90-percent drop, you have to compare the 2008 population to a very specific — and very exceptional — year, 1982.

We don’t consider a 30-year-old benchmark to be “recent.”

Because the statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, we rate it Mostly False.

http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2012/dec/14/pew-environment-group/pew-environment-group-says-atlantic-menhaden-popul/  About PolitiFact Rhode Island