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Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission​
2009 Winter Meeting Summary
http://www.asmfc.org/

ATLANTIC MENHADEN MANAGEMENT BOARD (February 5, 2009)
Meeting Summary
The Board met to receive updates on several items. Cooperative research, involving industry spotter pilots from Omega, Ark Bait, and state and federal scientists, was initiated during the 2008 season. Spotter pilots submitted to
scientists weekly logs that record observed number of schools and estimated number of fish per school. The scientists in turn are developing indices to track relative abundance over time. Improvements in the research can be made for the 2009 season with a modest investment of funds. The Board confirmed the members and purpose of a Chesapeake Bay Menhaden Guidance Group that it created at its October meeting. The Group's long term goal is to identify research and monitoring programs to support assessment and management and to develop and implement a long term funding strategy. The Board also received
an update on the Policy Board's intent to task the Management and Science Committee and Multispecies Technical Committees with monitoring this issue. The Menhaden Board will discuss specific guidance for those Committees at its May meeting. The benchmark stock assessment for menhaden is scheduled for peer review in March 2010. The next step in that process is a data workshop meeting in May 2009 to compile data and continue discussion about which model or
models will be used in the assessment. The Board approved Ron Lukens' appointment to the Advisory Panel as a representative for Virginia.
Motions​
No motions made.
 

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Re: **Menhaden News** The latest

somehow there ought to be a way to intercept the conversations from plane to ship to get the coordinates for that mile wide bunker school. then some boats can shoot out there (if it is within reasonable distance) and drive through the school and put it down or help move it off somewhat. it prolly won't work too good but wtf?
 

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Re: **Menhaden News** The latest

We wouldnt want to get like friggin Greenpeace but it would make their lives miserable. Maybe they ought to think about investing in aquafarms. Now.
 

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Re: **Menhaden News** The latest

As they go through this red tape, the menhaden dwindles. I see less and less on my fish finder. They used to blacken the fish finder now you see splotches. If they wait long enough to do something it will be a disaster and they will have plenty good cause to do it.
 

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Re: **Menhaden News** The latest

As they go through this red tape, the menhaden dwindles. I see less and less on my fish finder. They used to blacken the fish finder now you see splotches. If they wait long enough to do something it will be a disaster and they will have plenty good cause to do it.
 

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HOUSE BILL 1344 WOULD HAVE PREVENTED DESTRUCTIVE FISH SPILL OFF CAPE LOOKOUTCoastal Conservation Association Urges State House Committee On Marine Resources And Aquaculture To Take Action On Legislation That Will Prevent Future Disasters

RALEIGH, NC - Last week, a Virginia-based menhaden fishing vessel spilled fish off the coast of Cape Lookout. The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries also received complaints about bycatches of red drum and commercial operations by several menhaden boats near recreational areas on our coast. The spill and associated complaints involved a boat owned by Omega Protein of Reedville, Va.

According to published reports, the Division of Marine Fisheries ("DMF") received a report last Monday from Omega Protein that the captain of the Fishing Vessel (F/V) Tangier Island had split a net and spilled approximately 150,000 dead fish about two miles off Cape Lookout.

A few hours later, DMF received a call that the F/V Lancaster was setting its nets among a group of sports fishermen. Reports and photographs indicated the menhaden boat was fishing very close to the shore. According to reports, DMF also received complaints of a menhaden vessel fishing close to shore in a heavily used recreational area just off Emerald Isle.

Last Wednesday, the DMF received yet another report of dead menhaden and about 50 large red drum floating offshore in the area of the spill. The dead red drum, North Carolina's Official Saltwater Fish, was the result of bycatch in menhaden nets.

These disasters could have easily been prevented had the North Carolina General Assembly acted on legislation aimed at banning this destructive industrial practice. On April 8, 2009, Representatives Ty Harrell and Darren Jackson introduced House Bill 1344 ("Prohibit Taking of Menhaden for Purposes of Reduction"). The simple purpose of the legislation is to enact a ban on menhaden reduction fishing in state waters because there are no longer any menhaden reduction facilities in North Carolina. The legislation would also minimize the chances of "fish spills" such as those last week that pose a threat to our coast.

Unfortunately, House Bill 1344 has languished in committee for over two months without a hearing. Based on last week's completely avoidable events, the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina is urging the House Committee on Marine Resources and Aquaculture to immediately take up this important bill. According to CCA-NC Executive Director Stephen Ammons, "We cannot afford to sit by another minute while the destructive practice of menhaden reduction fishing continues in North Carolina's waters."

The menhaden reduction fishery is an industrial commercial fishing activity that harvests hundred million of pounds of menhaden each year to be used in oils and animal feed. While these fish are not consumed by humans, menhaden represent the most significant forage fish for species such as striped bass, king mackerel, flounders, weakfish and tunas. Omega Protein is the only reduction plant on the east coast. Reduction fishing is very efficient at decimating menhaden schools while occasionally causing major fish kills that wash up on the beach.

Omega Protein boats can come to North Carolina waters, harvest our fish and possibly cause local stock depletion. Yet, North Carolina receives no benefit as these boats return to Virginia to process the catch. Some North Carolina counties have enacted local restrictions on this reduction fishery, but we have no statewide ban on this practice.
 

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Atlantic Menhaden Board Approves Addendum to Extend
Menhaden Reduction Fishery Cap for 3 Years
Newport, Rhode Island - The Commission's Atlantic Menhaden Management Board approved
Addendum IV to Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.
Addendum IV extends the Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery harvest cap, established through
Addendum III, for an additional three years (2011 - 2013). Under the Addendum, the Board will
annually review measures to determine if they are appropriate given the most recent information
available about the stock and fishery. At any future meeting, the Board can initiate development of
additional or alternative management measures.
The Board's action was requested by the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to accommodate its
legislative process as well as ensure that the current management program is extended while menhaden
research efforts continue. Virginia's legislature, which convenes in January each year, is responsible for
regulating the menhaden reduction fishery in state waters. With Addendum IV in place this year,
Virginia state administrators can work with the legislature in early 2010 to amend Virginia law to extend
the harvest cap without the current cap expiring.
Addendum III established the current annual cap of 109,020 metric tons on reduction fishery harvests in
Chesapeake Bay as a precautionary measure while research was conducted to address the question of
menhaden abundance in the Bay. The cap was first instituted in 2006 to extend through 2010. With
adoption of Addendum IV that cap will be extended through 2013 with the following provisions.
Harvest for reduction purposes is prohibited in Chesapeake Bay when 100% of the cap is landed. Overharvest
in any given year will be deducted from the next year's quota. Under-harvest in one year will be
credited only to the following year's cap, not to exceed 122,740 metric tons. Since 2006, reduction
landings of menhaden from Chesapeake Bay have not exceeded the cap of 109,020 metric tons.
A copy of Addendum IV will be available via the Commission's website at www.asmfc.org under
Breaking News by November 13, 2009. For more information, please contact Braddock Spear, Senior
FMP Coordinator for Policy, at (202) 289-6400 or [email protected].
 

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You have some really nice fish up there...and about this time of year they migrate down towards us, here in Virginia, thankfully for you most of them stay miles and miles offshore safe from my treble hooks...however...
Water Cloud Sky Boat Watercraft


This picture was taken 9-11 miles offshore, approximately 13-19 vessels and their tenders were in the process of harvesting tens of thousands of pounds of striper forage...
capt. jakeg

Super TF Poster -


I witnessed a rape!
Today, me and Tim did a little bit of work at the boat and decided to take her out and stretch her legs for a minute. For about the past two weeks, there has been a very large area of menhaden, stripers, and blues out off Virginia Beach. Me and Tim figured that since we were out anyways, we might as well see if we can C&R some blues and stripers on light tackle- with blues being our primary target.
When they first showed up, they were 25 or so miles out. The large schools have been inching their way closer and closer to legal fishing grounds since their arrival from the north and I would have expected to see stripers and blues in legal waters this weekend, IF I hadnt seen what I saw today.
This photo does not do it justice. 7-9 miles straight out of Rudee there was the entire omega fleet RAPING the ocean. The entire horizon was loaded with net boats. I counted somewhere between 13 and 17 of the big boats and a whole bunch more of the tenders. Spread over about two miles, nothing was safe. Thousands of birds feeding and so much death in the water that four miles downcurrent, there was still a scumline of menhaden slime on the water.
I will bet that our school of stripers and blues, which days ago were so thick you couldnt keep a bait in the water, will be gone- and I think you can probably imagine where they went.
Why is this legal?
Thanks again Omega. You suck.
Omega is slaughtering them...they feed on our offshore schools of menhaden and end up trapped in miles of purse seines and end up being crushed and suffocated under millions of pounds of menhaden in OMEGA PROTEINS nets, then released dead to sink to the bottom after OMEGA has suctioned out all the menhaden from their nets... PISSED OFF? SO ARE WE...CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN/SENATOR...put pressure on Virginias Legislature to shut down OMEGA PROTEIN and cease this raping...
 

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Re: All your Montauk Fish are belong to OMEGA...

Omega's lobbyist donate millions to the legislature - Senators and Congressman. This has been going on for years on end.

The Virginia legislative session begins January 13th 2010. Watermen and fishermen raise hell year after year. Over the last three years they were appeased with a cap on tonnage. But thats about it. Reedsville screams about the 200 plus workers who will be without jobs but really its the humps in office who take the $$ under the derby in political tradeoffs from some other BS.
The RFA and CCF guys should be lauded and applauded. They wont stop just because it seems futile. Constant pressure and public scrutiny may change status quo. Its not like its going un-noticed any more.
I will copy this thread to the menhaden latest thread. Thanks for the posting. I took the link down from tidal fish because you have to be signed in to view it but those who are interested in the discussion can have a look at tidal fishs threads if they are members . thanks for the post.
 

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Re: All your Montauk Fish are belong to OMEGA...

This is an issue that even the scientists cant get right. Its best to be as informed as possible with the data available and let common sense prevail.
Politicians scare the hell out of most of us.
They take pay cuts to gain office. What does that tell you.
The large corporations that have netted the big profits love to see us pit against each other - recreation against commercial.
Trust me the water is so freekin dirty in the bay that these fish will eventually move so far north they will spawn in New Jersey and not Virginia.
 

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Menhaden, most important fish in the sea. If a clean environment is so important to the politicians , why not stop this practice of purse seining the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean of the one fish that would be able to keep the water in Chesapeake Bay clean. It seems logical to say there is just too much money for the people who actually could stop this practice to do so.
Is there a solution that could make both sides happy? Well, this may be a shot in the dark, but has anyone heard of Asian carp. This fish has taken over the Mississippi ,Illinois, Missouri, lower Ohio and many other rivers and lakes in the Midwest and South. Not to mention being a major threat to the Great Lakes. No one knows what to do with these fish that spawn like shad and grow to 50lbs. God only knows how many millions of tons of these fish are in our waterways and speading like a plague. Could these fish be processed into the same products the menhaded are being used for. Just like the menhaden, the Asian carp are filter feeders. If possible, the folks in the Midwest and South (I believe) would receive the Omega Protein industry with open arms.
Someone should research to see if this is feasible. Benefits to both sides, the Omega Protein folks and the fishing industry (recreational and commercial), would be profound.
 

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Depending on which of the ten species of "so called" asian carp you are refferring to. grass carp have done the most damage as they initially feed on zooplankton and small copopods but grow to feed on plant matter. when the prefferred plant matter is depleted they start to feed on fish. these fish have (not many) but a row or two of teeth in the back of thier mouths to process food so fish promote no problem to eat. most of the several species of carp have the same eating habits depending where these species are prevalent. one of the worst eco disasters of our time. if it were possible to harvest them for market like that "not a totally bad idea", but fish eating fish (for the omega market) is not all that desirable. as i read that somewhere for whatever reason it was.. Carp was a staple the diet of the american indian as well as shad. our caretakers of this land of ours knew how to keep the order of all living things in check. we came and really screwed it up.



 

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Depending on which of the ten species of "so called" asian carp you are refferring to. grass carp have done the most damage as they initially feed on zooplankton and small copopods but grow to feed on plant matter. when the prefferred plant matter is depleted they start to feed on fish. these fish have (not many) but a row or two of teeth in the back of thier mouths to process food so fish promote no problem to eat. most of the several species of carp have the same eating habits depending where these species are prevalent. one of the worst eco disasters of our time. if it were possible to harvest them for market like that "not a totally bad idea", but fish eating fish (for the omega market) is not all that desirable. as i read that somewhere for whatever reason it was.. Carp was a staple the diet of the american indian as well as shad. our caretakers of this land of ours knew how to keep the order of all living things in check. we came and really screwed it up.
The Asian carp I am refering to are the big head and the silver carp species. The silver carp are the ones that like to jump out of the water like a salmon. You-Tube silver carp and you will see just how numerous these fish are. I was fishing on the Ohio River one day this summer and had 7 silver carp jump in my boat. These two species of carp are destroying our fishing waters and are even making boating on the water somewhat dangerous. It sure would be great if a market for these invasive fish could be started.





 

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Bush Family and Omega Oil

Here's a little tid bit to chew on . Omega used to be owned by the Bush Family. Might still be.

****
Edit additional info
Heres the story. George H. Bush has owned Zapata Oil since 1952.

In 1968, Reedville Oil and Guano Company was renamed Haynie Products, Inc., and in 1970, they merged with Zapata Oil to form Zapata Haynie Corporation. In 1990, Zapata was renamed Zapata Protein; with the change to Omega Protein following eight years later.

http://www.omegaproteininc.com/about/history.aspx
 

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Lawsuit claims PCBs found in 10 fish oil supplements; product labeling sought

Lawsuit claims PCBs found in 10 fish oil supplements; product labeling sought

By JONDI GUMZ

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_14501591?source=most_viewed&nclick_check=1]Mercury News Story

SANTA CRUZ - People buying certain fish oil supplements to get the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids are ingesting chemicals banned in 1979, according to environmental advocates who filed a lawsuit Monday aimed at forcing manufacturers to warn consumers.
The lawsuit names five makers of supplements found to contain polychlorinated biphenyl compounds, drugstores CVS and Rite Aid, which sell those products, and Omega Protein Inc., of Houston, which touts itself as the world's largest producer of omega-3 fish oil.
Attorney David Roe filed the suit in San Francisco Superior Court contending Proposition 65, a law he helped write, requires consumers to be warned when products contain toxic ingredients above the limit deemed safe by regulators.
Some of the tested supplements exceed California's daily limit for PCBs by a factor of 10 in terms of the cancer risk, Roe said.
A limit has not been set for the risk of birth defects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been studying that risk for 20 years, said co-plaintiff Benson Chiles, director of the Coastal Ocean Coalition in New Jersey.
"Our message to the public is: 'Buyer beware,'" Chiles said.
Manufacturers of the supplements contest the results of the tests, saying their products are safe.
Two companies whose products were tested issued swift responses.
Twinlab's chief science officer, Greg Grochoski, said the two Twinlab Norwegian cod liver oils tested are distilled to reduce impurities such as PCBs and meet government standards.

"Twinlab cannot comment on the validity or accuracy of the test results referenced in a press release" issued by the California plaintiffs, added spokesman Justin Boone, noting Twinlab products were reported as having among the lowest levels of impurities.
Stephen McCauley of public relations firm Porter Novelli responded for Pharmavite LLC, which makes Nature Made fish oil supplements, saying its products comply with all federal laws as well as "the stringent industry standards" set by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a trade group.
"PCBs are ubiquitous within the environment, which means that all fish - whether fish found in oceans and rivers or fish oil supplements - contain at least trace amounts of PCBs," said Erin Hlasney of the Council for Responsible Nutrition. "The lawyers are using California's Prop. 65 statute to bring attention to their case by attempting to frame this as a public health concern, when in reality, fish oil has enjoyed decades of safe use."
Chris Manthey, a Surfrider volunteer in New Jersey and one of the plaintiffs, said, "Many of them say their supplements have been 'treated' to remove or reduce PCBs. Since they don't say how much PCB contamination is still left, even consumers who choose 'treated' supplements can't know what PCB levels they're swallowing."
The tests, done by a California lab at a cost of $1,000 per product, measured PCBs two ways, according to the plaintiffs.
One way determines daily exposure to PCBs by looking at all 209 separate compounds in the PCB chemical family. The second way looks at toxicity based on the 12 most toxic compounds in the PCB family.
Some supplements did better on one test than the other. Now Foods cod liver oil and salmon oil were high in daily exposure to PCBs and lower on the toxicity measure. Nature Made cod liver oil was high in terms of the toxicity measure and lower in terms of daily exposure if taken as directed.
Roe said more expensive products did not necessarily get better results.
The plaintiffs, which include the Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation of Eureka, said they selected products based on a survey by the Environmental Defense Fund of fish oil purification practices at 75 companies.
"We were not cherry-picking," said Manthey, noting the exposure level for Now Foods shark liver oil was low.
Scott Daniel, marketing communications manager at Now Foods, said the company has been investigating the concerns raised by environmental advocates for months.
"The current testing methods for PCBs are highly variable and incomplete," Daniel said. "There are no universal standards to test for the 209 different compounds that are included under the term PCB. However, we believe we are in compliance with the most widely followed industry and regulatory standards."
Daniel recommended consumers choose products made from small fish with short life spans, such as anchovies and sardines.
Solgar and GNC, manufacturers of other products named in the lawsuit, did not respond immediately.
New Leaf Community Market, a local organic health food chain, has been stocking nine brands of fish oil supplements at its Felton store, but once vitamins manager Tracy Frankl heard about the lawsuit, she pulled Twinlab's emulsified Norwegian cod liver oil off the shelf.
"We don't want to sell a product we don't feel is safe," said New Leaf co-owner Scott Roseman.
He said New Leaf would talk to fish oil manufacturers about their products and their labeling.
Three local companies make supplements with fish oil, but none was tested for this lawsuit.
"We feel consumers should have access to accurate information about environmental contaminants and that complete transparency around freshness and purity is very, very important," said Tiffany Diehl, strategic project manager at Nordic Naturals in Watsonville.
The company has participated in third-party testing and posts results on its Web site, she said.
Marci Clow, senior product research director at Rainbow Light in Santa Cruz, declined to comment and Threshold Enterprises of Scotts Valley did not immediately respond.
Soquel resident Madelaine Hairrell, who takes fish oil to lower cholesterol, was surprised by the findings.
"It may change the way I take supplements," she said. "I look on the labels to see which is the most natural and unpolluted. I try to get the best quality I can afford."

10 PRODUCTS TESTED
n Nature Made cod liver oil and odorless fish oil; manufacturer Pharmavite LLC in Northridge
n Twinlab Norwegian cod liver oil and emulsified Norwegian cod liver oil; manufactured in American Fork, Utah
n Now Foods shark liver oil, double strength cod liver oil and salmon oil; manufactured in Bloomingdale, Ill.
n Solgar 100 percent pure Norwegian shark liver oil complex and Norwegian cod liver oil; manufactured in Leonia, N.J.
n GNC liquid Norwegian cod liver oil; manufactured in Pittsburgh
Lab tests of these 10 fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids found they contain some of the 209 polychlorinated biphenyl compounds known to cause cancer and birth defects.
PCBs became subject to California's Prop. 65 warning requirement in 1989 for cancer and in 1991 for birth defects. Once widely used in electrical transformers, PCBs were banned by Congress in 1979, but the Great Lakes and the Hudson River remain contaminated despite cleanup efforts. The chemical, which was made to last a long time without breaking down, accumulates in the food chain.
SOURCE: www.fishoilsafety.com
 

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There's no problem with menhaden population

There's no problem with menhaden population, only what is believed about it
Bay Journal Article - February 2010

Ron Lukens has worked more than 20 years in the field of fisheries management, spending 17 years as the assistant executive director of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. Lukens serves as the senior fisheries biologist for Omega Protein, assisting in the understanding of the population of menhaden stocks based upon published scientific literature. He is also an appointed member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Menhaden Advisory Panel.

*************************************************************************
Comment rebuttal March issue 2010

Menhaden madness
I am compelled to comment on the commentary, There's no problem with menhaden population, only what is believed about it (February 2010).
At the outset, Ron Lukens states "since the fisheries inception in the 1700s, the Atlantic menhaden population is as robust and healthy today as it has ever been". FACT: The 2006 stock assessment shows a 72 percent decline in abundance from 1979 to 2006. Doesn't seem very "robust" to me.
He correctly states that for years the stock assessments have characterized the stock as "not overfished and overfishing is not occurring."
The upcoming stock assessment will not be presenting such a rosy picture. This time, the assessment will contain data on mortality by age classes and will demonstrate severe overfishing of the age 3+ (breeding stock). Any wonder why recruitment is in the cellar Recommendations on corrective measures are to be included. This represents such a departure from prior years that we will have to wait to see if it passes peer review.
Lukens comments on the filtration capabilities of menhaden to "clean coastal waters" are interesting. He states that "most scientists know this is not true." Strange, there are many studies that attest to menhaden's capability to remove particulates from the water. The Virginia Institute of Marine Science study he refers to concluded that only age 0 and 1 have the capability to remove nitrogen, which has been the object of most concern and study. In the Chesapeake Bay, the particle size of algae has diminished and renders the larger menhaden ineffective.
Nitrogen is not the only factor to consider. Sediment is a serious problem in Bay waters and menhaden remove this also. No mention is made of any removals other than nitrogen, which tends to undervalue the filtering capacity of menhaden. Menhaden may not be able to "clean coastal waters" but they help to do so.
It also should be noted that according to National Marine Fisheries Service data for 2009, age 0 and 1 removals by the reduction fishery comprised 47 percent of the catch. Certainly not helping the Chesapeake Bay.
I note that Lukens states that "most scientists and managers would agree that fisheries management could use more money to fund research and data collection." Well, if I were a scientist during a time of diminished economy I'd welcome an income stream. Also, research breeds more research.
Managers may also agree because waiting for a silver bullet allows difficult decisions to be deferred. The five years of research have not provided a basis for management action.
The problem here is not a lack of information, it is a lack of management. Perhaps the best research would be to figure out how to get managers to manage.

Charles Hutchinson
Cambridge, MD
 

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VA legislators kill bills to transfer menhaden management to VMRC



http://www.bayjournal.com/article.cfm?article=3792

By Karl Blankenship
The debate over who could best manage Virginia's menhaden fishery proved to be short-lived.
Legislation introduced on the first day of the General Assembly session which would have transferred oversight from legislators to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission was killed in both the House and Senate by the end of January.
State Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk, who sponsored the Senate version, pulled the bill without a vote knowing defeat was inevitable. Meanwhile, a House subcommittee killed an identical bill from Sen. John Cosgrove, R-Chesapeake.
"I guess the time for this just isn't right yet," Cosgrove told the Virginian-Pilot after the subcommittee action.
While the commission manages all of the other saltwater fisheries in the state, such as blue crabs, striped bass and oysters, the state legislature has long maintained authority to regulate catches of menhaden, which supports a major commercial fishery that provides about 250 jobs in Reedville, on Virginia's Northern Neck peninsula.
Cosgrove and Northam said management would improve by unifying responsibility for all saltwater species under the VMRC.
Ben Landry, a spokesman for Texas-based Omega Protein, which operates the Reedville fishing fleet, questioned the value of the transfer, noting that the VMRC has already been hit by huge budget cuts and adding menhaden would increase its workload.
Environmentalists and sport fishing groups endorsed the bill. Stock assessments over the years show that stocks of the the small, oily fish are healthy overall. But many fishermen and environmentalists contend menhaden are overfished in the Bay, leaving too few to feed striped bass and other predators, or filter algae from the water.
Such a transfer of authority has come up before, most recently in 1994, when it failed to pass. Meanwhile, the Senate did approve a bill that extends the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's limit on menhaden harvests within in the Chesapeake to 109,020 metric tons annually through 2013. A similar bill was expected to pass the House.
If the legislature fails to pass a bill complying with the ASMFC action, the state would be out of compliance and could face sanctions. The ASMFC enacted the cap to give scientists time to determine whether the fishery was adversely affecting menhaden populations in the Bay.
 
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