There is a very important public hearing on Menhaden (bunker) management this Thursday, click here for details.
The following is an open letter to Governor Cuomo from Paul L. Sieswerda, Founder and President, Gotham Whale:
Dear Governor Cuomo,
Our city and region have been captivated by increased whale activity in the Hudson River and nearby waters these last few weeks. If there was any silver lining to the unfortunate stranding of a humpback whale in Moriches Bay, it’s that New Yorkers learned their Governor is deeply committed to protecting these magnificent creatures as they swim through and feed in our local waters. His direction to make available all state equipment and resources to help save the whale was a welcome message.
This fall, we’ve been fortunate to see a number of whales close to the City and even “lunge-feeding” in the Hudson River. Many New Yorkers have also enjoyed excellent recreational fishing. Both are an indication of more prey species in our waters, like menhaden (also known as bunker), and that didn’t happen by accident. In the last few years, under Governor Cuomo’s direction, the choices made by New York State Commissioners have helped reestablish this region as an important feeding ground and bring about a healthier marine ecosystem.
Seeing the resurgence of menhaden should deepen our desire to conserve them. After all, as the menhaden population grows, so does their value. Recreational fishing and tourism businesses all depend on this important fish – not to mention the marine mammals and predators that feast on them.
This month, the multi-state body that manages them, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, begins inviting public comment on the future of menhaden. The public hearing in New York will take place in Freeport on Thursday, December 15, and I hope the many passionate champions of whales and wildlife will make their voices heard there.
As the Commission moves forward on managing menhaden, New York should be among the leaders for ensuring there are enough left as food for the marine life around our City and off our coast. If they do, there’s a very good chance that the feeding frenzy in the waters off New York City and in the surrounding region is only getting started.
Paul L. Sieswerda, Founder and President, Gotham Whale