Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 1 of 100 Posts

· Registered
1,037 Posts
JB, here is a little counter propaganda,

Virginia Assembly Rejects Menhaden Conservation Measures
January 27, 2006 PDF Print Version

Richmond, VA - In a stunning decision yesterday, the Chesapeake Subcommittee of the House of Delegates voted to reject a cap on the industrial harvest of menhaden from the Chesapeake Bay as mandated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The measure, adopted last fall by the ASMFC, would have capped the effort of the menhaden fleet at an average of the last five year’s harvest while studies were conducted to determine if the commercial operations are causing localized depletion of the important forage fish.

“The decision by the Virginia state legislature sets up an unnecessary confrontation with the federal government and puts the continued operation of the entire menhaden industry at risk,” said John Bello, chairman of Coastal Conservation Association Virginia (CCA VA).

Under the Coastal Cooperative Act, the ASMFC has little choice but to certify the state of Virginia as out of compliance with its menhaden plan and proceed with a closure of the entire fishery. The potential closure would not take effect before July 1, but if it is instituted at that time, the Virginia legislature will be out of session and unable to prevent the shutdown of the fishery.

“It is disappointing that the industry and the subcommittee apparently were not concerned that their decision puts all the employees of the reduction industry and the bait fishery at risk. In our testimony before the subcommittee we stressed the consequences of rejecting this basic conservation measure,” said David Nobles, chairman of CCA Virginia’s Government Relations Committee. “It is frustrating that they chose to ignore the realities of the situation.”

CCA VA supports the harvest cap which was designed to allow the reduction industry to continue operations while scientists develop a clearer picture of the impact of the harvest on the health of the Bay’s ecosystem. Evidence has indicated that the intense harvest of menhaden in the Bay is creating a localized depletion of the primary forage fish for a host of species important to commercial and sport fishermen. The Chesapeake Bay is the spawning ground for at least 80 percent of all Atlantic striped bass and that species in particular has shown signs of malnutrition and disease that could be linked to insufficient numbers of menhaden.

“We have maintained since the beginning of this debate that the intent of the harvest cap was not to put the industry out of business,” said David Hickman, executive director of CCA VA. “The cap would have allowed them to catch almost 106,000 metric tons per year, which is the average of the last five year’s harvest. The industry felt it could not live even with that modest restriction. Now the legislature and the industry leadership have chosen a course of action that will either weaken fishery management by the ASMFC or result in the closure of the reduction fishery by the federal government. Neither of those options is good for the resource or for the citizens of Virginia.”

CCA will ask the ASMFC to initiate the process of enforcing the cap at the Commission’s meeting in February.


Coastal Conservation Association is a national organization of 90,000 members in 15 state chapters. CCA’s mission is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. The objective of CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.
1 - 1 of 100 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.