Looks like the are really hammering the menhaden this year but they must be getting smaller and smaller fish with the fish oil yeilds going down. Their press release says they had a 68% increase in fish caught but fish oil yields ared doen 45% compared to the 5 year average. Here is their press release.
..Omega Protein announced an update on its fishing efforts as of the close of business on June 8, the end of the 8th week of the company's 2012 fishing season. As of June 8, the company's total fish catch was at approximately 162,200 short tons, a 29% increase compared to the corresponding 8 week period in the 2011 season, and a 68% increase compared to the company's 5 year average through week 8. Omega Protein's fish oil yields were lower by 27% compared to those in the comparable 8 week period in the 2011 fishing season and were lower by 45% compared to the company's 5 year oil yield average through week 8. Total yields decreased 9% compared to the first 8 weeks of the 2011 fishing season, and decreased 13% compared to the company's 5 year average through week 8 with the decreases due primarily to the lower fish oil yields.
Interesting statistics! Huge increase in tonnage of "fish" caught but much less fish oil produced. I am certainly no expert on the fish rendering business, but I can only assume the menhaden are mutating and becoming less oily or the tonnage increase is really a lot more bycatch. Based on my experience in the rapp, I think it is bycatch.
Bycatch is probably the reason for the change. When they rape the Rappahannock river , I suspect that
they catch as many Spot & Croaker as they do Menhadden. Also , I suspect that they are not catching
any adult Menhadden these days. The little Juvenile fish are probably less oily.
with an unusual increase in small puppy drum this year as far as the 301 bridge in the potomac and in the rapp a possible future fishery for us all , It sucks to know that they are most likely to hurt that as well.. I've personally caught 25 small ( 4-12 inch) puppy drum near and about Nomini bay area ..Never before has this happened.. As stated ,,,, Money is the means to the demise
Is this a reason for the decline in the Rockfish season this year??? At least for me, I didn't see the size or the numbers this year as in years past. As in life, the fish follow the fish .... no Menhaden, no Rockfish :(
Actually, I have had a number of folks involved with that fishery say that the larger menhaden have more oil per ton than the smaller one. It is a shame that Omega chooses to target the size fish that have not spawned yet. My guess it is a fuel cost issue and the larger fish are out off of the coast.