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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hereby appeal to all those who read these pages to this call for action. Surely we have lawyers and legislative representatives/staff in our many thousands of readers who can put into motion a bill to revoke the business license of Omega Protein and remove them from any further operation in the Chesapeake and surrounding coastal waters. I would ask that the name of ANY legislator in support of this effort be posted here and given support by the anglers of the state in the form of individual, legal, campaign contributions and that their name (s) be given adequate publicity in this forum.

Furthermore, I would ask that if and when a vote comes to the floor of the House, that the names and votes of the individual legislators be given the fame (or notoriety) they deserve and that voters be given the opportunity to either support them or remove them from office as unfit representatives of the best interests of the State, its waters and fisheries.

I would like to see the actual vote count posted here, by name and District. I ask you to remember that OUR bay is not the property of a few, but of the many. Sometimes those in power need to be reminded of who they work for.
 

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there are hundreds of posts here about your topic, how to reach legislators, campaigns, lobbying, voting records, committees involved, etc.--in other words, useful information about how to try to solve the problem. And there are ten times as many rants about the same, without useful information.

It would be great if the moderators started a new forum called "Menhaden Fishing Issues" and moved all the discussion there.

Note that I do not disagree with your position or efforts.
 

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It is good to see so much more interest in this very important issue than ever before. A lot of that interest is the result of years of discussions on Tidal Fish.

I think the topic should stay right here and not get moved to a separate forum, so it continues to get the greatest level of exposure.

Kevin
Weekend Mistress
 

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I hereby appeal to all those who read these pages to this call for action. Surely we have lawyers and legislative representatives/staff in our many thousands of readers who can put into motion a bill to revoke the business license of Omega Protein and remove them from any further operation in the Chesapeake and surrounding coastal waters. I would ask that the name of ANY legislator in support of this effort be posted here and given support by the anglers of the state in the form of individual, legal, campaign contributions and that their name (s) be given adequate publicity in this forum.

Furthermore, I would ask that if and when a vote comes to the floor of the House, that the names and votes of the individual legislators be given the fame (or notoriety) they deserve and that voters be given the opportunity to either support them or remove them from office as unfit representatives of the best interests of the State, its waters and fisheries.

I would like to see the actual vote count posted here, by name and District. I ask you to remember that OUR bay is not the property of a few, but of the many. Sometimes those in power need to be reminded of who they work for.
omega protien is not the reason for the lousy striper season this year. Look at the weather,I was fishing in shorts Xmasday and in 60 degree water. Can anyone in their right mind say this is normal. I realize that omega is depleting the menhaden population, but polution and weather change has just as much effect on our bay.
 

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College Fund; if you had really read his post you would know that he was not talking about this years' striper fishing but about Omega Protein specifically. Everyone with any fishing knowledge knows that the warm weather we have been having has kept the stripers far to our north. However, we also are quite aware of the damage done to the menhaden resource and the filth that the Omega fishing fleet boat dump into the bay. Like the other 15 of 17 east coast states, the states of Virginia and North Carolina should ban the taking of menhaden within their state waters. Omega could still catch their annual quotes by fishing out in federal waters. Your comments were unnecessary and did NOT pertain to the subject posted.
 

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In years gone by (1996- 2000 or so) everyone would be catching all the 24 to 28 inch stripers they could manage underneath diving birds. Earlier in the year they would have been up the James and Rapp. By now they would be in the middle of the bay and out towards the CBBT. Had the weather stayed this warm we would still be in the rivers. Further we would be complaining about the commercial gill net fishermen who would set their nets in the middle of the recreational fleet and I would be pointing out the ones that set their nets legally by waiting until the fleet past and setting their nets out for when the school of fish turned back. I can remember taking the wife and kids out in "moderate jacket" weather in my open boat and catching all we wanted out at York Spit Light.

We would also be talking about the massive schools of 10" menhaden that were holding trophy fish off of Plantation Light.
 

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Omega does not need to go out of business, they just need to be forced to fish outside of the Chesapeake Bay and the 3 miles limit. I think that would be a more realistic goal.
 

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We would also be talking about the massive schools of 10" menhaden that were holding trophy fish off of Plantation Light.[/QUOTE said:
And don't forget we would be talking about and taking pictures of the 20+ menhaden and half dozen eels that were in their stomachs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My thanks to those who bothered to read this and special thanks to those who saw fit to comment, pro or con. My take is that this industry is unnecessary. It is not that dissimilar from using rockfish for fertilizer, which was, (for those of you who know the history of the colonies) done routinely, along with the practice of using lobster tails to catch bluefish, all antiquated uses of valuable resources. I'm not making this up. Omega is practicing an extractive industry which has, (other than providing a very very few with serious profits -the rest work for very low wages), lost all relevance to the modern era. They are not replacing what they catch, much less setting up menhaden farms for commercial HARVESTING! That's right, just like catfish, trout and salmon, and a growing number of other species, enterprising individuals are slowly awakening to the benefits of REAL "harvesting" not the kind which requires NO planting. Commercial fishing is more akin to mining - a one way extractive system which does not seek to replace -only take.

I do not agree with the point of view to simply "move them offshore". That's the "out-of-sight-out-of-mind" point of view and solves nothing, with ONE exception: such a move would place Omega under federal regulation and out of the hands of our legislators. Then the ASMFC COULD act, but I have no faith in them either for the reasons I mentioned earlier. They simply refuse to acknowledge the clear cut business model of supply and demand. I am a cynic nowadays. I have no real hope that this posting will accomplish anything. I think that when we have again reached the edge of the cliff in species conservation, then, perhaps, we will act, just as we did with rockfish. Planning for the long view has never been our strong point in most issues I can think of. With that, Ive done what I could to raise the issue. I wish all of you a happy and productive New Year and thanks for following this posting.
 

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Grady-

Have you reached out to the Chesapeake Bay Defense F. and offered your assistance? You definitely have this stuff figured out and one of the major issues I see with some of these groups is; 1. They are not united, 2. They are under funded, and 3. They aren't capable of putting their thoughts down as expertly as you seem to be able to do. Maybe you could offer to write/edit communications for them?

Social media and targeting the young people in this state (and others) along with getting this issue out in front of our state's residents is a must. Most Virginians (including legislators) don't know what a menhaden is and most of those few that do really have a clue what role they play in the our estuaries and bay. As I feel certain you know, Legislators depend heavily on the state's agencies, who depend on various clubs and groups, to get the "Reader's Digest" view on issues that they don't have first-hand knowledge. Unfortunately, this brain trust also includes lobbyist who represent various "interested or vested" corporate entities. That would be Omega Catfood...

If we Sportsmen and Sportswomen want to see change, we will need to first broaden the knowledge base of of citizens of these issues before we can get the respect of those who we elect to get into this thing first hand. We need our own lobbyist (which should come from the industries that our collective fishing interest supports) to get into this and help fund the ratchet so, it can be properly turned up on the state agencies and ultimately the state legislators.

Now, I am not pontificating in light of day, just spouting the obvious of what I hope is already in the works by those taking the lead such as the VSSA and the CBDF and others. So, I think we should start a "Sticky" on the Virginia Forum that provides a place for folks to post up all of the various business types and, when not obvious the connection, that are dependent on the state's 200,000+ saltwater licensed sport fishers. We need to get a contact list as well for each and determine the est. dollar value in annual revenue each receives. It's time to start counting up our money- because, everyone knows, THAT's WHAT THIS REALLY IS ALL ABOUT! The Omega Catfood Company has always justified their unjustifiable practice of raping the bay despite there being a plethora of DOCUMENTED disastrous effects on the Bay (et all) in the name of money. It's time we take that away from them.

So, let's get this thing going gang!!!

R
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the words of encouragement. As for me, Ive been an appointed committee member to various subcommittees on ASMFC by the governor of Virginia. I Ive been the state editor of the CCA publications for Virginia. Ive been a member of CCA/RFA/Ches. Bay Foundation and a researcher for the CEO of that foundation. Ive worked for NOAA too. But most of all I write. Hundreds of letters to anyone and everyone, at all levels of government, fed to local, NONE of which was ever useful. This over a period of 25 years since moving to Virginia, but a lifetime before hand. Ive been published in everything from National Geographic to Time, to the Naval Academy, to Saltwater Sportsman, etc etc etc. NONE of that has done anything. Why? Money. The system operates on power. Most of the delegates who control Omega are golfers and could care less about the Bay, much less the ocean. They will only respond to threat of removal. Period. I don't know if this forum is any different. I see how few have even bothered to read what I wrote and only a tiny fraction have responded. THATS our problem. Apathy. We moan and groan and lock our front doors. Nobody is willing to do ANYTHING to change the status quo. The idea of organizations all the clubs, businesses and interested parties is something that I proposed 20 years ago and you see the result. Laziness and an unwillingness to step up and get involved. I don't know how to fix that. I cant lead with no followers, and after having pitched this to various private groups, got nothing. If you know how to do it, go for it, because I don't. thanks for the thoughts.
 

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On another thread, there was a discussion of a meeting with our local representatives. I was hoping to see a synopsis posted of the results.

I'm 57 and have never protested, but maybe we organize one on the Capitol steps...
 

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On another thread, there was a discussion of a meeting with our local representatives. I was hoping to see a synopsis posted of the results. I'm 57 and have never protested, but maybe we organize one on the Capitol steps...
There was a meeting and another to be held Jan 6th by the Ches bay foundation at Norfolk academy. Two bills have been presented, pitched as the first steps to getting omega out of the bay. There is suppose to be instructions emailed soon with sample language and which reps across the state need to be phoned and written to in support of the bills. Then we are supposed to get 24-48 hrs notice to storm Richmond and knock down the doors when the bill goes to the floor. Yes, It's been tried before as Mr. Welton pointed out the other night but support and momentum is gaining as more and more are becoming educated through forums such as this and social media. The battle is just beginning on many fronts and will offer many opportunities to assist. Please keep this issue in the spotlight and be prepared to help out by contacting your reps and asking friends and family across VA to do the same.
 

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The difference now verses 25, Hell 10 years ago, is that we have this new weapon/tool called social media. It needs to be used properly to gather the interest, awareness, and MONEY. Then we march!!!

R
 

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While I agree that moving Omega offshore may not be the best solution, it may be the most realistic. A total and immediate shut-down is highly unlikely--and if you got shut-down, they would get years to phase it in, or worse, a few years of "studies." Just getting them out of the bay and Virginia coastal waters will be a big help, and an easier sell.

But keep in mind what we really want is to eliminate the over fishing; we need bunker ourselves and the commercial crabbers more so. Limited fishing in the bay is acceptable; be a conservationist and not an environmentalist, and you can go further.

However, watch out for this: Omega presents information that the smaller operators are the primary polluters (kills, dumps, slimeslicks, by-catch, etc.) with their less-sophisticated equipment, less supervision, limited resources to deal with problems, etc. I don't know whether it's true but that aspect has to be included in a campaign to be successful.

FTR I have no personal or financial stake in any of the operations.
 

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"But keep in mind what we really want is to eliminate the over fishing; we need bunker ourselves and the commercial crabbers more so. Limited fishing in the bay is acceptable; "

Omega is in the reduction fishing Industry. To some here the word "Omega" is same as menhaden fishing as a whole.
As far as I know, it is not the same as the menhaden bait industry, which has it own much smaller quota.
I agree we need the bait fishing industry. I would hope most do.

I think this is why many here that are much smarter than I are trying to get us to start using the term -Menhaden Reduction Industry
instead of "Omega"
 

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I guess we should agree to use the term "localized depletion" instead of "overfishing"'
To us it means the same, but to those that we need to convince it makes a big difference!
The ASMFC says menhaden is not over fished. (using thier current methods of measure)

I want to move the menhaden reduction fishery out of the bay- to stop the localized depletion that is occurring due to its removal of a large percentage of the east coast quota inside of the Chesapeake bay and inside of Va's waters.

Alot to say for-- NO Omega! :thumbup:

Va beach meeting Mike mentioned. https://www.cbf.org/menhadentalk
 

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I guess we should agree to use the term "localized depletion" instead of "overfishing"'
To us it means the same, but to those that we need to convince it makes a big difference!
The ASMFC says menhaden is not over fished. (using thier current methods of measure)

I want to move the menhaden reduction fishery out of the bay- to stop the localized depletion that is occurring due to its removal of a large percentage of the east coast quota inside of the Chesapeake bay and inside of Va's waters.

Alot to say for-- NO Omega! :thumbup:

Va beach meeting Mike mentioned. https://www.cbf.org/menhadentalk
How about something like this:

I want to move the Menhaden Reduction Industry out of the Virginia Coastal Waters including the Chesapeake Bay-to stop the localized depletion that is taking quadrillions of eggs out of the Menhaden Spawn every year, to restore the #1 food source for Atlantic Coast Stocks of Stripers, Blue Fish, Trout, Ospreys, Pelicans, & other species and to eliminate the indiscriminant damage to the grasses and bottom structure of the largest Atlantic Coast Fish Nursery.

Kevin
Weekend Mistress
 
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