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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is from Bill Windley's MSSA message,

Author’s Note: Since this article was written, the Menhaden Management Board received it's own legal opinion in which they are assured that they are well within the law. Rich and I attended the Board meeting on February 22, 2006. At that meeting the Board showed every intention of seeking a closure of the Virginia menhaden fishery if the Governor fails to step in and force compliance.

Read the entire article here, http://www.mssa.net/pres_message.htm

Are we entering a new era of Pre-Emptive management ? It could have future ramifications for all user groups.
 

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The Virginia Governor needs to hear from his constituents. There window for him to declare a proclamation implementing the ASMFC cap closes April 1, 2006.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think we are going to see some heads butt. ASMFC & VA both have legal opinions that they are each in the right. Two weeks left for VA to do something. Doesn't look like anything is going to happen. ASMFC declares VA out of compliance and issues a shut down ? VA brings legal action... don't know how all this works but it sure looks like we will see.

I keep wondering why Omega is so determined to keep ASMFC from doing anything. It's almost like they are hiding something. A cap would put very little financial burden on them. I remember Junebug stating that it would hurt bumper harvest years which it certainly could. But there seems to be more. I've said before that they are backed into a corner with only VA & NC allowing them. So are they just fighting to stay in business ? If all of Junebugs statements are correct, why wouldn't they just accept the Cap and in 5 years after the study, all would be good ? Why risk a legal battle in which they are publicly the bad guy ?
Too many why's.
 

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Scotty, I believe that they are taking the NRA approach. Fight the battle on the fringes before it hits them at the heart. They know that the real objective is to shut them down. So why wait to fight the battle until it is too late? Also, it has been my experience that industry really doesn't like to change, even in a minor way they will fight it.

What this will come down to is the science behind ASMFC's cap. Is there science? Anectdotal evidence will not cut it. Remember Reedville is the second largest commercial port. Don't forget the importance of that. After all it is the Secretary of Commerce that will, in the end, have to physically shut them down. I suggest spending a little time on their website to see where they are coming from.

one edit....my prediction is that in the end, whoever finds they have the weekest position will compromise. That could be Omega or ASMFC or both. Very likely nothing could happen until the study is complete. If the study proves that Omega is not the smoking gun, then the recs will say that someone paid off whoever wrote the study along with all the other typical accusations. If the study proves that Omega is a problem and needs to change, then Omega will get on the "Science was wrong" bandwagon. Its a very sickening process either way you see it.
 

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I don't think the governor is able to enact the menhaden harvest limit. For one the bills never made it out of committee so they can't be brought up by the GA. Number two is that the GA has a special session on April 16th I think so as long the GA is still technically in session the Governor cannot act alone. So there is no way possible that anything can be done now.

It's a shame that the Committee members shot down those bills to save 200 jobs at omega and now have put in jeopardy the crabber (who uses menhaden for bait) the pound netters who catch and sell them the charter captain and recreational fisherman who use them for bait.

The thing is omega wanted like 132,000 mt and they havn't caught much in years. All the ASMFC wanted to do was use the last 5 year average. Now it looks like a moratorium is gonna happen.

Of course Omega is gonna fight it...not Va

here is a little excerpt from the menhaden resource council menhaden facts. This probably won't be there once the trial starts

The Atlantic menhaden fishery has been studied actively by marine scientists and the menhaden fishery has been operating under several management plans since 1981 and 1992.

(SOURCE: Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Pp. 1-2, 38; July, 2001.)


The Atlantic menhaden fishery is being managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), a multi-state compact established by federal law more than 50 years ago. This commission is comprised of state fishery directors, marine scientists, and legislative and public representatives.

(SOURCE: Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. P. 1; July, 2001.)


This commission has the responsibility and authority to determine the health of the Atlantic menhaden fishery and to determine Atlantic menhaden harvest limits.

(SOURCE: Amendment 1 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Pp. 54-58, 46; July, 2001.)


Because of the importance of the menhaden as a valuable resource to diverse commercial, ecological and sport-fishing interests, it is one of the most intensively studied species for the past 50 years.

(SOURCE: Analyses on the Status of the Atlantic Menhaden Stock. NOAA Fisheries Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research. Pp. 27, 39-41; June 7, 2001.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
[Q]Purdue1 originally wrote:
Scotty, I believe that they are taking the NRA approach. Fight the battle on the fringes before it hits them at the heart. They know that the real objective is to shut them down. So why wait to fight the battle until it is too late? Also, it has been my experience that industry really doesn't like to change, even in a minor way they will fight it.

What this will come down to is the science behind ASMFC's cap. Is there science? Anectdotal evidence will not cut it. Remember Reedville is the second largest commercial port. Don't forget the importance of that. After all it is the Secretary of Commerce that will, in the end, have to physically shut them down. I suggest spending a little time on their website to see where they are coming from.

one edit....my prediction is that in the end, whoever finds they have the weekest position will compromise. That could be Omega or ASMFC or both. Very likely nothing could happen until the study is complete. If the study proves that Omega is not the smoking gun, then the recs will say that someone paid off whoever wrote the study along with all the other typical accusations. If the study proves that Omega is a problem and needs to change, then Omega will get on the "Science was wrong" bandwagon. Its a very sickening process either way you see it.
[/Q]
Thanks for your insight. Ironically, Omega will likely not catch any where near ASMFC's cap # this year. Yet there is this huge battle brewing. I understand your question of science vs anecdotal. Then again Fisheries science is not the same as Bridge building science. We don't speculate how hard concrete is. We do have to somewhat speculate how many fish are in a river, etc.
I think this is going to be an important decision in fisheries management policy. Are we going to wait till perhaps a fishery crashes or be pro-active ? This could have a severe negative impact on recs also.
 

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I will conjecture that the reason they want to fight the cap is not about jobs as they claim; it is what it will do to the Omega stock price. If they are allowed to keep catching the same amount they have been and are employing 260 some workers now, nobody loses their job.

But if Omega share holders, hoping for a record harvest to pump up the failing stock see they can expect their investment continue on its current trend (down) for the next five years, they'll start heading for the exit (if they haven't already). Even Zapata wants to sell it. Now Omega has to cut costs to maintain value for the remaining investors and to attract new ones. That's when big companies usually start "redirecting careers outside the organization". But the reedville operation probably can't run much leaner than it does now I suspect. They've already got NOAA loans to modernize. And there's more bunker in the ocean than they can ever hope to process and sell. But they never will; if it was economically feasible they'd already be doing it.

Their whole market plan is dependent on them staying in the bay until every menhaden is gone and then they will shut the doors and walk away.
 
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