: VA Gov Kaine Announces Menhaden Cap
07-31-2006, 01:20 PM
From today's Daily Press:
Kaine: Limit set for menhaden catch
BY FRED CARROLL
July 31, 2006, 10:46 AM EDT
Gov. Timoth M. Kaine announced this morning in Virginia Beach that a commercial harvest cap is now in place for Atlantic menhaden hauled from the Chesapeake Bay.
The compromise has the support of Omega Protein, based in Reedville on the Northern Neck, as well as environmental groups and recreational anglers. Omega Protein is the bay's sole harvester of menhaden, a small, oily fish.
The cap limits the harvest at 109,000 metric tons annually for five years and allows Omega to apply whatever tonnage it falls short of that limit to the following year. However, no single season can exceed 121,000 metric tons.
A regional fishing commission approved a cap one year ago, but the Virginia General Assembly refused to enact it.
Way to go, Menhaden Matter!!
Good news, but ASMFC must still approve this cap at its meeting in two weeks.
07-31-2006, 08:24 PM
But who approves it since the GA is not in session. I don't see how this could be. I think he is trying to stop the closure that could in theory happen.
08-01-2006, 11:03 AM
The GA put in the provision to allow the Governor to act when the GA was not in session, I think in the 2004-2005 session.
Thank you Governor Kaine, Menhaden Matter and all the individual organizations that helped make it happen!
08-01-2006, 02:46 PM
During the Q & A yesterday, the Governor said he is proclamating this action today. My interpretation of that is, he issued a proclamation putting those regulations into effect. According to the current law, the Gov can do that (issue a proclamation) and it will have the effect of law until the General Assembly convenes next January. At that time, a bill would have to be introduced and passed to formally put the numerical cap in place.....or best case as CCA has been advocating, move the management out of state code into VMRC. If that were to happen, VMRC could simply issue a regulation implementing the CAP.
08-01-2006, 10:27 PM
JP and others, I don't understand how you can call this a CAP? See my unanswered reply on the main board.
The end result is no reduction in Menhaden harvested in the Bay for the next 5 years. Who won? I can see the legislative win but not the Bay's.
Am I wrong?...
08-02-2006, 08:54 AM
I don't think that anyone can argue that this is not a cap. It just isn't a reduction on the average for 2001-2005. These are two different concepts.
However, since the 5-year average between 2000-2004 and 2001-2005 apparently increased by 4 metric tons, that would mean that either 2000 was a really low year, or that 2005 was a really high year. I haven't been able to find the figures used to compute the averages.
If 2005 was a high year, this actually could mean that the 109K metric ton cap could be a reduction from the 2005 harvest. If anyone knows where the harvest figures can be found, I would be interested.
08-02-2006, 09:28 AM
Although the actual limit does not achieve any actual reduction of harvest, the real success is it is an agreed upon regulation on what was formally an unregulated harvest. When they have actual data to determine what is an appropriate level of harvest, there is now an existing regulatory device to apply to the problem.
Now if only the GA would put VMRC in charge of it...
08-02-2006, 10:48 AM
08-03-2006, 09:07 AM
The biggest news out of this that no one picked up on is that the Industry is no longer in control. Congratulations to Gov Kaine and Secty of Natural Resources Preston Bryant for doing something. They had to try an satisfy all parties. They did something where the past administrations have ignored it....and they got concessions from the industry on the research that Omgea refused to participate in last August.
08-03-2006, 01:57 PM
Right you are, Catch This.
Secr. Bryant and his staff worked long and hard w/ several folks from the Menhaden Matter Coalition to arm Gov. Kaine with enough information to bring Omega to the table and convince them to agree.
In doing so, they preserved the cap at current levels (allowing for annual fluctuations while cutting off the possibility of a major increase) while avoiding an otherwise likely lawsuit from Omega that would have jammed up the process and delayed the cap.
Now it's time to do the science, with Omega's cooperation, and let the chips fall where it dictates. That's the only way to achieve a tighter Chesapeake Bay limit that will stand up in court.
Scotty, does this answer make sense to you? If not, please b-mail me.