Study Eyes Fisheries for Menhaden – A Key Forage Fish 

fishing boatGLOUCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Interstate fishing managers will commission a study of the commercial fisheries for Atlantic menhaden, an important forage fish that is caught all along the East Coast.

Menhaden are an important bait fish and are also caught for use as fish oil and fish meal. States from Maine to Florida have been the site of commercial fisheries for menhaden in the past ten years.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says researchers will conduct a socioeconomic study of menhaden fisheries. They want to gather data to learn more about menhaden fisheries and learn how to better manage them.

Fishermen typically catch more than 500,000 tons of the fish every year. The fishery was worth more than $114 million in 2014. The largest fisheries are in Virginia, Louisiana and Mississippi.

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