The future of menhaden, a critical forage fish species, is being decided soon. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has released menhaden draft Amendment 3 for public comment. If approved, this Amendment, particularly Issue 2.6 Reference Points – Option E of draft Amendment 3 will provide a 21st-century approach to forage fish management and enjoys broad support from many organizations, including the Florida Wildlife Federation. The Amendment will help ensure a robust menhaden population to support our game fishery and our commercial fishery, as well as providing a key food source for birds.

ASMFC will accept written comments until October 20, 2017, at 5pm. The only public hearing in the South will be held October 10, 6-8pm at the Town of Melbourne Beach Community Center, 507 Ocean Avenue, Melbourne Beach, Florida.

If you can attend the meeting in Melbourne and support Option E, please do so.

Or please submit a written comment supporting Issue 2.6 Option E of Draft Amendment 3 before the October 20 deadline.

Comments should be sent to: Megan Ware, FMP Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St., Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Am. 3) using the sample letter below.

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Dear Ms. Ware:

I support the adoption of Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden, specifically Issue 2.6 – Option E. Atlantic menhaden feed nearly every major predator on the Atlantic coast and popular Florida species, including tarpon, king mackerel, osprey, black skimmer and bottlenose dolphin.

Conservation works. This action will yield positive results for ecosystems, economies, and anglers!

Thank you for your consideration.

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Thanks very much for supporting our marine resources! – Preston Robertson, FWF