I do not have a fundamental problem with an industry funding research. We should encourage industries to fund more research. I also have no problem with calls for additional stock assessments of northern menhaden populations. The key is how that research is made available for examination by other parties.
This, unfortunately, is where Wittman and the other congressmen leave the rails. Their insistence on using a preliminary observation as a basis for official stock assessment policy is ludicrous. By the admission of the very researcher who made the observation, the data he collected is not yet sufficient on which to base any conclusions. If we are talking about science and not something else, then his observations must be replicated, and the conclusions drawn from those observations must then be subject to rigorous peer review. None of that has happened at this point, and I am troubled that Wittman either fails to understand this or chooses to discount it.
However, a disagreement with Wittman on one issue (or even many issues) does not obligate me to disagree with him on everything. His proposal for agency coordination strikes me as good common sense, and an absolute necessity if we are to make continued progress towards a healthy Bay. I would hope that folks from many sides could come together to work towards the coordination that he proposes.
"Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash." - Sir Winston Churchill
Rob Witman is Omega's best friend. He goes to bat for that industry over and over. Not saying that is wrong. Its his job. Unfortunately, the importance of these jobs in the Northern Neck of Virginia are at odds with the best interests of many other important chesapeake fisheries. At the bottomline, Wittman's defense of Omega is well documented. There is no valid argument otherwise.