Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I hit my usaul spot where Cockrell's Creek meets the Great Wicomico and all the schoolies hit were the snall Tony Acetta w/ the Yellow feather. They would not hit the larger one. My wife caught her 1st fish from the Bay and was nonplussed. I got 3 others. I was plussed.
I talked wth someone who is wiser than I will ever be, and he said that Omega Protein will discontinue Operations in the near future. He envisions that someone will buy up the joint, clean it up, redevelop it, and condo, hotel, etc the place. Reedville is the very LAST undeveloped deepwater port on the Bay. He says Annapolis is coming to the NNK.
I would think 15 - 20 years is his assessment. I think that's great. even though it's way too late for me to enjoy it.
A part of me hates to see it. I grew up on 7 acres in the country and had no limits. With development, there are limits.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Omega is our enemy. Is development our friend?
Worried. Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
interesting question you pose.

i own some property with a business partner (no house, just land) about 5 or 6 miles upriver from omega on the wicomico.

not waterfront, but close enough ...

more development = likely higher property value for me = more potential return on investment.

but part of the reason we bought is because it is just so [email protected] beautiful up there.

too much development will spoil the place.

(i'm originally from nj, so i know about/have seen what overcrowding does to the waterfront!)

i don't know the answer to these questions, i really don't ...

but wouldn't it be great if omega just moved out and shut down for good?

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,381 Posts
[Q]nirschman originally wrote:
interesting question you pose.

(i'm originally from nj, so i know about/have seen what overcrowding does to the waterfront!)

i don't know the answer to these questions, i really don't ...

but wouldn't it be great if omega just moved out and shut down for good?

:)
[/Q]

I grew up on the Barnegat Bay in Toms River, NJ and I, too, have seen what development can do and it's not pretty!! I graduated Toms River High School when it took kids in from Pine Beach to Pleasant Plains and from Pine Lake Park to Pine Beach. Now they ahve about four high schools in the same area and each graduates more about twice as many kids each year than were in my graduating class.

Omega out of here might be a blessing to the local fishing, but the development will be downer for the long time residents as it was for us in NJ............... just HAD to get out of there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well now, I've spent alot of time in Harvey Cedars and Barnegat. When you stand on top of the top deck and look out, it's disgusting. Rooftops everywhere! We'll be room temperature long before that happens to Reedville. If we could keep out illegals, ther'd be more space. Because, as you know, ANY child born on US soil are US citizens. Insane. Plus they multiply faster than Americans do. Rats. I don't hire 'em, don't help them, nothing. If we don't hire them, they won't come.
Don't forget - there's that talk of a high speed ferry from Chrisfield to Reedville. Look at a map. This place juts out like a sore thumb. Plus a deepwater port. Plus a dying fish factory. I'm guessing a couple of thousand acres. Hopefully, travellers would come via ferry, not car. We don't need slots machines and their ilk.
To tell the truth, my wife and I are pulling our investment from Hagerstown, MD, and gonna sink it into the Neck. I hope the Neck remains nearly anonymous. Why else would you come here? They should pull all those NNK white stickers off the cars. don't let anyone know!

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Reedville is not anonymous. Talked to a young man who grew up in Reedville and left some ten years ago. Couldn't believe the change that has taken place since he left, particularly the traffic from Tappahannock to Reedville. 15 to 20 years. Do't bet on it. Omega is your enemy. For some of us it has been our saviour. I can't help but believe that the developers are using the sport fishermen as a means of putting Omega out of business. They have been trying for years, but they didn't have the clout to do so. Now, CCA, Greenpeace, and others are convincing everyone that Omega is ruining the Bay. As a sport fisherman, I get frustrated with the fish boats, particularly when they trap the bait that I think will draw the big fish into the Bay. However, the enemy they are not, unless you are a developer. The long time residents of the Northern Neck don't want to see the change that is coming any more than you do. Dut they don't have the money that it takes to fight the big battle. Some say change is inevitable. I'm certain that is true. However, I'm convinced that some that see the big money to be made are not willing to let it take place at its own pace. Omega is the last of the fish factories in a town that grew because of the menhaden. It's just a matter of time until it is no longer profitable. It, IMHO, is ashame that it couldn't die a natural death instead of being murdered. I'm selfish, I realize, but I cherish the remaining time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Actually Omega will eventually go away but unfortunately in my opinon it will not go fast enough. I expect it will take another 5-10 years to push them out and as long as they can make a buck they will persist.

The development of the Northern Neck area and Omega as a company that is raping the the menhaden resource are clearly two separate issues. I live on Cobb Island, MD and moved there in 1998 to get away from the crowd. Within 2-3 years there will be a hotel, a 300 slip marina and an additional 300 condos on Swan Point, 5 miles north of me. Money talks and bull ****** walks so the local folks that are fighting it ( and I understand WHY ) are wasting their time but they fight the good fight. The same holds true unfortunately for the Reedville area but again this is not related to Omega and the Menhaden.

The issue of Omega and the depletion of the Menhaden population is a localized problem in the VA portion of the Bay and not up and down the East Coast. Truth be know and it is pretty much a fact, the East Coast Menhaden population is actually quite healthy.....................just not in the bay and its tributaries.

If the only two East Coast States that allow the seining of Menhaden are VA and NC and 90% of the fleet is located in the VA Bay area then it does not take a rocket scientist to figure our that Omega is over explointing a fish spieces that is vital to the bay in terms of forage fish for predatory species such as Rock and Blues and as the second greatest filter feeder next to the oyster (already almost extinct).

This becomes an emotional issue due to folks in the Reedville area that know those who are employed by Omega that will have a economical challenge should Omega one day close their doors. No one bats an eye in Reedville when GM announces a 25,000 person lay off (happens every day all over the United States throughout industry) but god forbid we use some good comon sense and realistic checks and balances on the issues involving Omega and the Menhaden.

Clearly I wish no one who works for Omega harm and I would prefer an economical buy out by the Government (I would freely contribute) such that the good people who work for Omega are not unduly impacted by this situation. Omega could care less about their employees and what they will be doing 5 or 10 years from now but as long as they can continue to get 7 cents a pound for a fish that pays all of us back in $'s than they will continue to persist and as long as they can leverage the local "EMPLOYMENT" issue they will take advantage of the good people who live and work there.

Same old story, same old subject, but it amazes me how we collectively continue to blow smoke up our ass--s!

Jim (Instigator)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Very thoughtful issues her..remember, I said it's gonna be 15 years before Omega goes....and no one wants to harm the employees at all. The value of the land they own is enormous, and if they were smart they would begin a "slow clean up" - the rusted junk and buildings and ships (oops, good for baitfish) - increadsing the value of he land, and over time, they could pay all employees a lifetime pension, develop the land, and make WAY more $ than fishing. You're right about the locals and the reason for Reedville. That's why it's important to move slooowwwly and do it right. What about a State Park? Locals would hate to see that, too much traffic. But tons more economic activity. And not so onerous and disgusting as Trump Reedville. Thinking outside of the box, probably Way outside. Happy 4th.
Mark
P.S. Went BACK to the mouth of Cockrell's creek today and got 4 more schoolies and a couple of smaller croakers on red Fishbites. Squid untouched.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND

Be careful what y'all wish for
Omega roling over is goodthing
they will not go away easy

JEEZ, hope Pensacola never goes the commercial way
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I am a graduate student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (disregard the screen name, i just wanted something original), and a local resident of Northumberland VA. My family has lived in the county for over 300 plus years, and I graduated from Northumberland High School, so i am a full fledged local. I have to agree with Mr. Lockhart (who taught at our dilapidated middle school) on the Omega matter. I, along with the institute, have been conducting exhausting studies on the menhadden fisheries and stock and we have concluded that the Atlantic Coast Stock is at healthy levels, including those found in the Chesapeake Bay. The ASMFC accepts and agrees on this fact. Now, the non-scientific rebuttal. For those of you who have never been to Northumberland county, you really should visit Brown Store, Edwardsville, and other inland backroad areas. Go see our schools and infrastructure. In the latest census, 65% of the local residents were listed as living at or below the poverty line. The only thing that is keeping the county from totally collapsing is the Omega Plant which employs hundreds and has many other implications. Omega helps fund many of our counties activities, including little league, as well as many of our school activities. Its nice to have a supporting "neighbor" in such a poverty stricken county, where many do not have running water, electricity, or other luxuries that all of us take for granted. All of the bait used in crab pots, used for chum, and chicken feed comes directly from the Reedville Seining operation. The CCA and greenpeace are against commercial fishing, yet they dont hesitate to order crabs (which is caught using menhadden bait), or a rockfish fillet (caught hook-n-lining using chum). If the plant in reedville closes, then the northern neck's economy will collapse and the price of bait, seafood will drastically increase, while the availability will decrease. The reason that the big fish refuse (most refer to the bluefish) to come up the bay is not the availability of menhadden, but rather the quality of the Bay's water (ie the expanding dead zone). If you want to complain about something, then perhaps we should all focus our attention on the activities of the 16million people who call this 64000 square mile watershed their home, instead of using the vital, important, and non destructive menhadden operation as a scapegoat for the lack of big blue fish. In the time it took you to read this posting, 20 people have moved into the Bay watershed, the clock is ticking, and the problem is growing as we continue to refuse to face the "true" facts, and fight the "real" problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
86 Posts
Crazymofo, you appear to be an educated man. Why would you think that supporting a business that does not have a future to be a good thing. Do you think that keeping the Omega plant open longer is going to help those living in poverty? Omega may have done their best to help support the county but it appears to not be working based on your discription. Maybe Omega leaving is what the county needs. The quality of life will continue to decline for those in the county unless there is change.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,432 Posts
[Q]glenallenstriper originally wrote:
Why would you think that supporting a business that does not have a future to be a good thing.
[/Q]This is apparently a foregone conclusion to you. Not everyone agrees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Regarding the latest reply, when i say those that are poverty strickened, i mean those who do not work for omega. Those who work for omega are well off compared to the majority of the local population. Lets be honest, no other business on that piece of property would be able to employ hundreds of people, and i seriously doubt that a developer would establish a hotel on the site. If something were to be developed it would be unproductive condos, in which there is not a "turn over", simply meaning that people would not be coming and going, they would simply "live" here, visiting things that they know best. They would get their groceries from Food Lion, and would travel to richmond or newport news to go to the mall. Condos do not create a tourist industry, they instead stifle an economy, and create a stagnant situation. For right now, the best option is to continue to allow the reedville boys to operate and make a living. Its also important to note that the menhadden industry is still a thriving business, the only thing that is haltering it, is people, not nature. Opinions and radical actions can kill something, with out natural reasons. Once again, i am just trying to get people to realize the implications of closing the plant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
767 Posts
[Q]crazymofo originally wrote:
I am a graduate student at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science ...I, along with the institute, have been conducting exhausting studies on the menhadden fisheries and stock and we have concluded that the Atlantic Coast Stock is at healthy levels, including those found in the Chesapeake Bay. The ASMFC accepts and agrees on this fact...{Q}

I think it would be interesting to hear more about your scientific conclusions mentioned above. Science is the only way to determine if there is truly a problem. It seems there is a lot of speculation and extremism on both sides, as with many emotionally charged issues, and if you alreaday have the science then shed more light on your conclusion that the bay's menhaden stock is healthy. This is the first I've heard of a scientific conclusion that the bay stock is healthy.

For what it's worth this has been the best year I can ever remember for fishing in the bay. I've caught more rockfish and haven't seen any unhealthy ones in a while.

Additionally, I think you make a good point about pollution, everyone wants that lush, green grass and city sewage infrastructure but no one wants to know the environmental cost. Is this the real problem with the bay? If it is, this problem is much larger than Omega will ever be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Crazymofo........since your found it necessary to post your education and Alma Mater up front... than it would be interesting to have you qualify your resume in terms of how long you have been working (post graduate) in the field of fishery management or related science field. With all due respect, you make and absolute scientific statement as to the fact that

"I, along with the institute, have been conducting exhausting studies on the menhadden fisheries and stock and we have concluded that the Atlantic Coast Stock is at healthy levels, including those found in the Chesapeake Bay".

There has been much discussion and disagreement on this matter but I have yet to see the scientific community take this absolute postion. Omega by their own admission and from their sales and profit reports show a reduction in both the number of Menhaden and also the quality of Menhaden (I will get to that later).

Who is Mr. Lockhart and what is his relationship to this issue (just curious)?

If the ASMFC agrees that the Menhaden population is healthy than why did they vote 12 to 3 ( may be off by 1 or 2) to impose a poundage cap on Omega while studies continued on this matter. I understand why Virginia and PRFC voted against it but clearly there was sufficient concern and doubt to cause the other 12 states to take a pause.

You are clearly far more knowledgable than I on the economical situation surrounding Northumberland, VA and I expect that most if not all of what you say regarding this subject is true and accurate but Omega will not solve a large scale economically depressed situation that you describe. Omega is a relatively small company with sales of approximately $120 Mil of which a significant portion is in Mississippi and Louisiana. Total employee count is approximately 1,000 of which a bit more than 200 work in Reedville. Northumberland and other areas throughout the U.S. will continue to struggle economically until such time that conditions exist that attract businesses and an infusion of cash. I applaud your desire to keep that area the same way it was 50 years ago but there is unfortunately a price to pay for unobstructed views and fresh air (oops can't make that claim........smile)

I clearly agree with you claim that water quality is a prime source for the problems of the bay and clearly encroachment, the building boom, and still uncontrolled handling of waste by corporations need to be seriously addressed. At the same time, Omega removes the most efficent filter feeder left in the bay and it is in my opinion impacting the water quality along with numerous other factors.

Omega as a company and even before the "Cap" was imposed admits that their business is in a decline. They are barely profitable making 2% profit on sales of approximately $120 Mil in sales. Most board of directors of most corporations would fire CEO's and managers for delivering this low of a profit margin but to omega they view it as a volume business and thus try and increase their volume. At 7 cents a pound do you know how many menhaden you have to catch to achieve sales of $120,000,000? Omega in reports to their share holders blame the decline on 1) lower volume catches than anticipated and 2) a decline in the quality of the menhaden being caught in terms of fat content etc.

Menhadden is not the only bait used by crabbing and chumming with bunker is not the only approach for hook and lining. Razor clams are often used and many are switching from Menhaden to other baits as it is becoming difficult to find bunker from the local pound nets and those who have tradionally sold it. Maybe not down in your area but clearly in the Potomac River and portions of the bay.

The spring Rock Fish season was in fact one of the best ones in the past 5-6 years but I personally don't believe it had anything to do with Bunker jumping into my boat but rather ideal weather conditions that allowed the tempertures to hover at the low 50's for a prolonged period of time which stretched out the spawning season and slowed the return of migratory Rock Fish to the colder Northern Waters.

You seem to have a very good handle on the history of the local area but I caution you to not let local sentiment cloud your scientific conclusions. As with at least one other person I would appreciate seeing evidence that backs up your claims regarding the state and health of the Menhaden and I truly hope your correct and I will bow to your knowledge if this is true.

Regardless I appreciate you inputs and welcome your views and thoughts on this most difficult subject. If anyone is interested in the facts and information I provided regarding Omega, you can view them on Omega's home page.

Jim (Instigator)............pardon my numerous spelling mistakes!


The following is a small example Directly off the Omega Webpage but 100's of other articles not generated by Omega exist on this subject:


Omega Protein Reports $3.2 Million Profit For 2004



HOUSTON, March 9, 2005 - Omega Protein Corporation (NYSE symbol: OME), the world's largest manufacturer of heart-healthy fish oils containing long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids, today reported net income for the 2004 fiscal year of $3.2 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with net income of $5.8 million, or 24 cents a share, the previous year.

Omega Protein recorded revenues of $119.6 million for the 2004 fiscal year which ended December 31, compared with revenues of $117.9 million for 2003. Operating income for 2004 was $5.3 million, versus operating income of $9.5 million for the prior year.

For the fourth quarter of 2004, the Company recorded net loss of $1.1 million, compared with net income of $31,000 the corresponding 2003 quarter. Revenues for the quarter which ended December 31, 2004 were $26.6 million, versus revenues of $33.4 million for the corresponding 2003 quarter. Omega Protein had an operating loss of $1.6 million for the 2004 fourth quarter, compared with an operating loss of $95,000 for the 2003 fourth quarter.

Omega Protein's fourth quarter results, as well as the results for the full year, reflect a lower than expected fish catch (approximately 18% below 2004 expectations and approximately 8% below 2003 fish catch level), combined with low oil yields. The reduced fish catch was primarily attributable to adverse weather conditions in the Gulf of Mexico and the low oil yields were due to reduced fat content of the fish. The reduced fish catch and low oil yields resulted in higher per unit cost inventories, as well as less product available for sale.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top