Big Vote on Small Fish

The "most important fish in the sea", the Atlantic menhaden, also known as bunker.
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Representatives from Maine to Florida will gather Friday in Baltimore to vote on just how far to cut back the commercial catch of Atlantic menhaden along the East Coast.


The population of menhaden has dropped 90 percent in the last 30 years, prompting the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission for the first time to consider conservation efforts.


Connecticut has three representatives to the commission: State Rep. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield, David Simpson, director of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Marine Fisheries division, and Dr. Lance Stewart of Coventry.


“The science isn’t really clear, but I think the sentiment is very strong toward trying to keep as many fish in the water for purposes of regeneration as we can,” Miner said Tuesday.


He said he’s inclined to support cutting back the harvest of menhaden by 25 percent.


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