A Closer Look At Atlantic and Gulf Menhaden- Omega Protein
Omega Protein Corporation
February 11, 2016
HOUSTON — February 11, 2016 — The analysis, produced by Omega Protein, draws from the latest menhaden
assessments from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and Gulf
States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC). While examining the history of the
fishery and its sustainable practices, Strength in Numbers takes an in-depth look at one of
America’s largest and oldest fisheries.
“Both the Atlantic and Gulf menhaden fisheries are monitored and managed according to
the best available science,” said Peter Himchak, Omega Protein Senior Fisheries Scientist.
“Official management bodies like the ASMFC and GSMFC, as well as independent, third
party organizations like Friend of the Sea and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership have
all affirmed the health of Atlantic and Gulf menhaden.”
After two failed stock assessments as a result of a broken assessment model, the ASMFC
completely overhauled its methods and models for its 2015 assessment. This new
assessment found that menhaden had not been overfished in decades, and that the stock
was in far better shape than anyone had previously thought.
According to the ASMFC, the assessment “is the latest and best information available on
the status of the coastwide Atlantic menhaden stock for use in fisheries management.” In
addition, the independent, scientific peer reviewers agreed. One peer reviewer, Dr.
Michael Jones with Michigan State University noted, “We were very, very impressed
with the thoroughness and the comprehensiveness of the stock assessment.” Describing
the reviewers’ perspective, [Dr. Jones] told the Bay Journal, “Overall, bottom line, the
panel offered a strong endorsement for both the findings and the methods of the
The most recent assessment on Gulf menhaden finds a similar record of health and
sustainability. These comprehensive assessments are critical for accurately monitoring
the fisheries, guaranteeing their long-term health, and informing the sustainable rules and
regulations currently in place.
“Both the [Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission] and the [Gulf States Marine
Fisheries Commission] conduct regular assessments of Atlantic and Gulf menhaden to
evaluate the health of the stocks,” the report states. “According to the most recent
assessments for both species (2015 for Atlantic menhaden and 2013 for Gulf menhaden),
neither Atlantic nor Gulf menhaden are overfished, nor are they experiencing overfishing.”
The report also provides a look into the importance of Atlantic and Gulf menhaden as
sources of high-quality marine ingredients. Because menhaden are a rich source of
essential omega-3 fatty acids, they are playing an increasingly important role in human
health through functional foods, aquaculture growth and through supplements.
Strength in Numbers shows the menhaden fisheries’ commitment to sustainability and
resource management. It underlines the importance of a long-term shift to ecosystembased
management practices, showcases the success of the Atlantic and Gulf menhaden
fisheries in reducing bycatch to some of the lowest levels of any fishery in the world, and
highlights the fishery’s commitment to the community to ensure the sustainability of this
About Omega Protein Corporation
Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE: OME) is a century old nutritional product company that develops, produces and delivers healthy products throughout the world to improve the nutritional integrity of foods, dietary supplements and animal feeds. Omega Protein’s mission is to help people lead healthier lives with better nutrition through sustainably sourced ingredients such as highly-refined specialty oils and essential fatty acids, specialty protein products and nutraceuticals.
The Company operates eight manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Europe. The Company also operates more than 30 fishing vessels to harvest menhaden, a fish abundantly found off of the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
For More Information
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