All of the science says there are plenty of menhaden. Even so, on October 28, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Menhaden Management Board voted to ask the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to hold Reedville’s Omega Protein out of compliance with the commission’s regulatory scheme for menhaden. Should he do so, Omega might be forced to shut down butting several hundred employees out of work.
In 2017, the ASMFC arbitrarily set the limit for the Chesapeake Bay menhaden catch at 51,000 metric tons, a deep reduction from the prior 81.000 metric tons limit. The cap was reduced despite the fact that the most recent assessments show the menhaden stocks were healthy and not being over fished. Rob O’Reilly, recently retired from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and a member of the management board noted that there is no basis to see localized depletion of menhaden in the Bay.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northern Neck News 11/6/19