July 23, 2020

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Tony Friedrich:

Willy Goldsmith:

American Saltwater Guides Association Releases Video Urging Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to Adopt Use of Ecological Reference Points in Menhaden Management

Individuals From Wide Range of Backgrounds Provide Testament to Critical Importance of Healthy Menhaden Stocks to the Marine Ecosystem

ASGA and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance Collecting Signatures for Public Comment Letter to the ASMFC Supporting Implementation of ERPs

Oceanside, NY (July 23, 2020) – The American Saltwater Guides Association (“ASGA”), a coalition of forward-thinking guides, small business owners and like-minded anglers who understand the value of keeping fish in the water, today released a video containing commentary from individuals representing different interests and backgrounds collectively urging the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (the “ASMFC”) to adopt the use of Ecological Reference Points (“ERPs”) in the management of menhaden at its upcoming meeting scheduled for August 3-6, 2020.

The video, which can be viewed in its entirety here, includes testimony from the following individuals and organizations:

  • Tony Friedrich, Vice President & Policy Director, ASGA
  • Peter Jenkins, Owner of The Saltwater Edge, ASGA Board Chairman
  • Jason Jarvis, Commercial Fisherman, Board President of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (“NAMA”)
  • Tykee James, Audubon Society
  • Kyle Schaefer, Owner of Soul Fly Outfitters, ASGA Maine Board Member
  • Kerry Heffernan, Chef, Grand Banks
  • Mike Avery, President, Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association
  • Zack Clyver, Naturalist, Eco-Tourism Expert
  • Ellen Pikitch, Scientist and Professor, Stony Brook University
  • Paul Sieswerda, President, Gotham Whale
  • Cory Crochetiere, All Seasons Marine, USGA Captain, One More Cast Charters
  • Richard Brame, Atlantic States Fisheries Director, Coastal Conservation Association

The collaboration of such a wide range of interests, including recreational anglers, recreational for-hire captains, commercial fishermen, bird and whale watching groups, tackle shop owners, chefs, and scientists provides testament to the critical importance of menhaden to the marine ecosystem on the East Coast.

Further highlighting the value of menhaden to both the recreational angling community and commercial harvesters, the ASGA has partnered with NAMA to develop a public comment letter (also attached below) to the ASMFC supporting the adoption of ERPs. The two organizations are currently collecting signatures for the letter, and encourage anyone interested in signing onto it to comment below or send an email to ASGA Executive Director Willy Goldsmith ( by 12:00pm ET on Monday, July 27. Please include:

  • Full name
  • State
  • Interest in menhaden (e.g., private angler, commercial fisherman, whale watcher, etc.)
  • If signing on behalf of an organization, name of organization, logo, and personal title

“The implementation of ERPs in the management of Atlantic menhaden would represent a momentous development in fisheries management and finally take into consideration the true importance that a keystone forage species has on the broader marine ecosystem,” said Friedrich. “It is clear that a healthy population of menhaden can support an astonishing amount of life up and down the East Coast, and accounting for the impact that removing that species from the environment could have on other species is essential in developing effective, responsible management practices. The ASMFC has an opportunity to advance the management of menhaden and forage fish in a way that benefits not only the species that rely on them, but also the millions of individuals, organizations and other constituents that count on a healthy marine ecosystem for their livelihoods and recreation. We urge the ASMFC to do the right thing and vote ‘YES’ to ERPs for menhaden.”

For more information on menhaden management and how important the species is for anglers everywhere, please visit the ASGA website for their recent post on the subject here.

About the American Saltwater Guides Association

Founded in 2019, the American Saltwater Guides Association was created to activate and unite guides, small business owners and like-minded anglers, and to represent them and their voice at the federal, regional and state level.  The ASGA is a coalition of forward-thinking guides, small business owners and like-minded anglers who understand the value of keeping fish in the water.  We realize that abundance equals opportunity, and that such opportunity is quite a bit more important to the future of fishing than low size limits and full coolers. More information about the ASGA, its mission, board members and current areas of focus can be found at

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