Press Release

For Immediate Release July 2012
Contact: Gillian Ray

Documentary Film on Menhaden, an Endangered Chesapeake Bay Fishery,
Wins Three Regional Student Emmy Awards

(Washington, DC) – The environmental film Menhaden: The Most Important Fish in the Bay, a 26-minute documentary that aired on Maryland Public Television in April, won three student Emmys for outstanding documentary, photography, and editing from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The film also recently received a CINE Golden Eagle award as a top student documentary and is currently featured on LinkTV’s Earth Focus channel.

“We’re absolutely thrilled the film is getting attention because that means more people will learn about Menhaden –  a stinky, oily little fish that is key to the health of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Producer Gillian Ray.  The film’s Director Sarah Gulick added “So many people, especially small family businesses, rely on menhaden that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to sustain this  fishery.”

Funded by the American University Center for Environmental Filmmaking, the documentary examines the role Menhaden play in the Chesapeake Bay’s ecology as well as the regional economy. As filter fish, Menhaden help clean Bay waters and they are the base of the food chain for prize fish like rockfish and blue fish, making them them a valued bait fish.  Menhaden are also caught and processed into commodities such as fish meal and oil by the reduction industry.

Attention to the film coincides with an ongoing public conversation about the future of menhaden fisheries along the east coast. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is charged with deciding how to implement a reduction to the menhaden catch beginning in 2013 and is accepting public comments. To learn more about the reduction, visits the ASMFC website. To request a screening of the documentary, contact Producer Gillian Ray or Director Sarah Gulick.

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