USA - Omega Proteins Inc. fleet - Purse seine - Brevoortia tyrannus, Brevoortia patronus - FAO 31
Company Requesting the Audit: Omega Protein Inc.
Approved Target Species: Atlantis menhaden (Brevoortia tyrannus), Gulf menhaden (Brevoortia patronus)
Fishing Method: Purse seiners
Stock Status: The 2006 Stock Assessment Report for Atlantic Menhaden, a report of the Atlantic Menhaden Technical Committee of The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) (NMFS) convened the stock is not considered to be overfished, nor is overfishing occurring.
(http://www.asmfc.org/speciesDocuments/menhaden/reports/stockAssessments/2006StockAssessmentReport.pdf) Also FAO, in its 2005 “Review of world State of Marine Fisheries Resources” considers Atlantic
menhaden as Fully Exploited (not overexploited). (http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/y5852e/Y5852E10.htm#tbl1)
Discard: United States Menhaden fishery is considered to have zero percent discard rate according to FAO “Discards in World Marine Fisheries. An Update” (http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/y5936e/y5936e0a.htm#bm10). Bycatch of other fishes in menhaden purse seines has been examined repeatedly since late 1800s. Taking of non-target species is a relatively rare event, and the overall bycatch is insignificant. “The most recent data available are from the Gulf of Maine IWP fishery. Every catch unloaded onto the processing vessel is inspected by a state observer. In 1991, a total of 93 fish was taken as bycatch along with about 60,000,000 menhaden (David Stevenson, Maine Department of Marine Resources, pers.
All Omega vessels use an excluder nozzle to exclude larger predator species. Then an additional excluder screen is used to exclude the larger species and return them to the water via excluder chutes in the photos.