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Data & Methods Workshop Scheduled for Atlantic Menhaden Ecological Reference Point Benchmark Stock Assessment

Arlington, VA – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has begun work on the Atlantic Menhaden Ecological Reference Point (ERP) Benchmark Stock Assessment. The assessment will be used to evaluate the health of the stock and inform the management of the species in an ecological context. In order to ensure the incorporation of the most up-to-date information on Atlantic menhaden, a single-species menhaden stock assessment update will also be completed in 2025. The ERP assessment will be peer-reviewed in 2025.

The ERP Work Group will conduct a Data & Methods Workshop from October 2 – 6; details on the location will be released once they become available. The Workshop is open to the public, with the exception of discussions of confidential data*, when the public will be asked to leave the room.

The Commission welcomes the submission of data sources and alternate models that will improve the accuracy of the assessment. This includes, but is not limited to, data on commercial landings and discards, catch per unit effort and relative abundance, biological samples (length or age frequency), and life history information (growth, maturity, fecundity, natural mortality, spawning stock biomass) for Atlantic menhaden. As an ecological-based assessment, the Commission is also interested in information on major predators of Atlantic menhaden (e.g., predator diets, consumption rates, trends in abundance) and alternate prey species such as Atlantic herring or bay anchovies, including evidence for localized depletion or changes in abundance at finer regional scales. For data sets or models to be considered, the data must be sent in the required format with accompanying description of methods to Katie Drew, Stock Assessment Team Lead, at by Friday, September 1, 2023.  Any models submitted without complete, editable source code and input files will not be considered.

For more information about the assessments, the submission and presentation of materials at the Data and Methods Workshop, or attending the Workshop, please contact James Boyle, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.

* Each state and federal agency is responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of its data and deciding who has access to its confidential data. In the case of our stock assessments and peer reviews, all analysts and, if necessary, reviewers, have been granted permission by the appropriate agency to use and view confidential data. When the assessment team needs to show and discuss these data, observers to our stock assessment process are asked to leave the room to preserve confidentiality.


In the early 1940s, recognizing that they could accomplish far more through cooperation rather than individual effort, the Atlantic coast states came together to form the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Commission). An Interstate Compact, ratified by the states and approved by the U.S. Congress in 1942, acknowledged the necessity of the states joining forces to manage their shared migratory fishery resources and affirmed the states’ commitment to cooperative stewardship in promoting and protecting Atlantic coastal fishery resources. The Commission’s mission is to promote the better utilization of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the Atlantic seaboard by the development of a joint program for the promotion and protection of such fisheries, and by the prevention of physical waste of the fisheries from any cause.

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