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Commission Considers Cuts in Menhaden Fishing Limits

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LINTHICUM, Md. (AP) - Interstate fishing regulators are deciding whether they want to change the way they manage a tiny fish that plays a critical role in the ocean's food chain.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is taking up the subject of menhaden on Monday and Tuesday at a meeting in Linthicum, Maryland. The fish are the subject of one of the largest fisheries in the country.

Menhaden are fished to provide fish oil, feed for aquaculture operations and bait. The fish also are a key source of food for larger fish, whales and dolphins.

The regulators are considering options such as reducing the amount of the fish that can be caught by commercial fishermen. Fishermen have pushed back at the idea, saying the fishery is sustainably managed as it is.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.