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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Among the requests from the Recreational Fishing Advisory fund this year was a large, $1.2 million study of Menhaden ...at first the amount seemed large....BUT when .....

R) Estimate and Assess Social and Economic Importance and Value of Menhaden to Chesapeake Bay Stakeholders and Region (3 Year Study). James Kirkley, VIMS. $1,127,235 Amended to $788,284 (Year 1 request = $363,403). - Review
Audio: rfab010807_Item_R.mp3

Omega Protein Corp has written to VMRC Chairman opposing the funding of the request(which is not surprising)...however the author used many assumptions in the letter which I cannot imagine are true.

Nevertheless the letter can be read at: ( Take a look at public comment #2...)

http://www.mrc.virginia.gov/vsrfdf/current.shtm

The opposition from Omega Protein to fund the study suggests that recreationals should push harder to have the study funded...maybe ....the full amount...of $1.2 million.

A question that needs to be answered, it what brought about the decrease in the request...was it Omega pressure???

Bob Allen
Hampton,VA
 

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My favorite: "Large amounts of menhaden actually DECREASE water quality by increasing the nutrient load in the bay"

Somebody ought to give them a medal for being such a water quality champion.

Yep let's get ALL those filthy little creatures out of the bay and it will be clean as a swimming pool!


They only want VIMS to study "the economic and social impacts of the menhadan reduction fishery for Reedville". Hell, they don't need to spend any money to figure that one out.
 

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Steve Bowman is smart enough to know that Omega will oppose ANYTHING that isn't in their favor and secondly, it's not Omega's money being spent, It's the Rec Anglers if the $$ are coming from RFAB
 

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Any study that goes on is yet another chance for scientific evidence to stack up against omega. It's no secret that Omega would not want ANY study to happen. They know that what they are doing has hugely negative effects. They pay alot of money to get numbers swayed in their direction, so of course they don't want any other studies. This doesn't suprise me a bit.
 

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with Omega its just Rape and Rape
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
This Discussion Is Not About The Spotter Planes......it Is About Omega's Attempts To Torpedo The Menhaden Studies...... Rba
 

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I did some checking and the cost was reduced because VIMS is absorbing some of the costs internally, not because the scope was reduced.

Additionally, I understand that the bait fishery and it's value will be specifically added.

Tom
 

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Speaking of planes, the best thing we could do is start by NOT allowing spotter planes. It may give the menhaden somewhat of a fighting chance!!
 

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Does Omega contribute anything to the RFAB? And if Omega doesn't support the study, so what? They're going to contest the findings anyway.

But fortunately they have been allowed to continue their "Clean the Bay (of menhaden)" program in the meantime.
 

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It wasn't the study I thought it was going to be. It sounds more like research to develop a way to calculate the value of menhaden(or any other fish) among several diverse user groups. I was hoping it was going to be whether there is or is not localized depletion, and whether it is detrimental or not.

This could easily be called "A study of whether or not we need another study".

It's like setting out to study the effects of global warming by first designing a way to determine the real value of gas to truckers, commuters and boaters.

Of course another way to read it might be that recreational license funds are being used to validate whether the recreational anglers have any rights to menhaden ( or protection thereof). I guess that is what's needed.
 

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And how would that meet the criteria on how license monies are supposed to be used?
I am under the impression that the fees were supposed to be earmarked for the improvement of recreational fishing. One could argue that more forage and improved water quality would benefit recreational anglers.
 

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Here is the law.

§ 28.2-302.3. Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing Development Fund established.
There is hereby established a special, nonreverting fund in the state treasury to be known as the Virginia Saltwater Recreational Fishing Development Fund, hereafter referred to as the Fund. The interest earned on the principal of the Fund also shall not revert to the general fund. The Fund shall be administered by the Commission, to be used solely for the purposes of conserving and enhancing finfish species taken by recreational anglers; enforcing the provisions of §§ 28.2-302, 28.2-302.1, and 28.2-302.6 through 28.2-302.9 and regulations promulgated thereunder; improving recreational fishing opportunities; administrating the Virginia Saltwater Sport Fishing Tournament certificates program; obtaining necessary data and conducting research for fisheries management; and creating or restoring habitat for species taken by recreational fishermen. The Fund shall consist of moneys collected pursuant to §§ 28.2-302, 28.2-302.2, and 28.2-302.6 through 28.2-302.9.

One of the big deal issues for fisheries management in the 21st century is ecosystem management. We can not have ecosystem management without a good understanding of the forage species such as menhaden, american eels, herring, shad, as well as preditor prey relationships.

Furthermore "conducting research for fisheries management;" does not specifically exclude or include species that are of recreational interest. Also there is the argument that adaquate stocks of forage species are necessary to "enhance finfish species taken by recreational anglers".

Tom
 
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