Prohibit Overfishing of an Essential Fish Species for the Welfare of Marine Ecosystems

Target: Martha Williams, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

Goal: Further limit menhaden fishing to sustain the Atlantic’s marine biodiversity.

Menhaden fish are an important Atlantic species that serve as prey to larger fish, invertebrates, mammals, and fish-eating birds. They’re often known as “the most important fish in the sea” because of their contribution to the food web. They contain a large amount of fish oil that can be used to create human vitamins. Through commercial fishing, their population has begun to dwindle. They need to be preserved in order to provide nutrients to populations throughout the Chesapeake Bay and in other Atlantic areas.

While menhaden can be used for viable commercial purposes like bait, fertilizer, and animal feed, they need to be better protected. In years prior, menhaden were over-fished. Their population decreased by about 90%, and although there are now limitations placed on how much they can be fished, their population needs to grow. With their use in commercial products is important, the growth of their population is even more vital. Without them, valuable predators will suffer and humans won’t be able to receive any nutrients from them.

These vital fish feed benefit humans and wildlife alike, and thanks to prior years of them going without protection, their population has drastically declined. Something must be done in order to maintain the biodiversity within the Atlantic. Sign this petition to encourage further limitations to be placed on the commercial fishing of menhaden.


Dear FWS Director Williams,

The menhaden are a quintessential species to the welfare of Atlantic ecosystems. They provide food for predators, in water and on land, and they provide nutritional benefits to humans. As they had been over-fished in the past, their population faced a drastic decline. As years have passed, their population has increased, but it’s still not as abundant as it once was.

As menhaden fish still continue to face commercial fishing, their population is unable to properly feed certain predators. They contain large amounts of fish oil that are beneficial to wildlife and humans alike, as well as substantial amounts of protein. As limitations have already been placed on how much they can be fished, further limitations need to be enforced in order to protect their species.

Please enforce stricter fishing laws for menhaden populations to increase. They are a valuable species of fish that instills biodiversity throughout the Atlantic. Larger fish, birds, and mammals can’t be properly sustained without this tiny fish species, and the FWS needs to do what it can to preserve it. Enforce fishing laws that will allow this species to flourish. We appreciate your attention to this message.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Pxfuel


  1. There are industrial fishing fleets which operate 24/7 to catch, cut, freeze, every sort of fish available. These monster fleets are stripping the ocean. They fish by bottom trawling and also use methods which are not thought to save any fish for other countries or those who rely on their local fishing to pay the bill and put meals on their tables. Nothing is sacred to these huge monsters ships. They should not be allowed by all countries all over the globe!!!

  2. Allowing this type of nefarious overfishing to continue will ultimately lead to the further decline of ocean health and have repercussions all along the marine system and the human food chain. What are they going to do when there are no fish left to harvest? Stop this insanity now and take a serious look at how to enforce and improve laws and hold these companies accountable for the damage they are doing to the ocean and our food chains.

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