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Last Chance !!!
SB765 To Be Heard Monday


Atlantic Menhaden - Coastal abundance at historic low.
Critical to coastal fish, bird, and marine mammal predators

Contact Senate Committee

Sen. Northam's Menhaden "Transfer Bill" (SB765) will be heard in full committee on Monday Jan 31 Senate Room B at 9am in the General Assembly Building.

Please take the time to send an email to members of the committee and asking them to support the bill. If possible, try to attend the committee hearing. Omega Protein will be there.

The bill proposes the transfer of authority for implementing ASMFC menhaden fishery management plans from the General Assembly to the VMRC. The VMRC already executes ASMFC directives for all other saltwater species.

Call and e-mail the members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources ... see below.

E-mails are completely acceptable. You can also call and speak with the legislators' assistants (listed with each senator or delegate below). By copying and pasting your e-mail message, the time required to contact all committee legislators can be minimized.

In addition to contacting the individual members of the two "Ag" committees, you should also contact your own delegate and senator (To identify them, click HERE).http://conview.state.va.us/whosmy.nsf/main?openform

See menhaden background info at bottom

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation,
and Natural Resources

Patricia S. Ticer, Alex/Arling/Fairfax (804) 698-7530,
[email protected], Peggy Papp
Mary Margaret Whipple, Fall Ch/Arlin, (804) 698-7531,
[email protected], Arlene Spinelli
Emmett W. Hanger, Jr., Lexing/Staunton (804) 698-7524,
[email protected], Holly Herman
John C. Watkins, Powhatan/Cumberland (804) 698-7510,
[email protected], Sally Antonelli
W. Roscoe Reynolds, Martinsville/Floyd (804) 698-7520,
[email protected], Anne Lackey
Phillip P. Puckett, Tazewell/Bland (804) 698-7538,
[email protected], David T. Larimer, II
Frank M. Ruff, Jr., Appomat/Halifax (804) 698-7515,
[email protected], Robbie McMillan
Harry B. Blevins, Chesapeake/ Va Bch (804) 698-7514,
[email protected], Karen Cochrane
Mark D. Obenshain, Harrisonburg/Page (804) 698-7526,
[email protected], Jared Walczak
Ryan T. McDougle, Hanover/Middlesex (804) 698-7504,
[email protected], Anne Creasy
Donald McEachin, Henrico/Rcmd/ChCity (804) 698-7509,
[email protected], Sonya Bowman
J. Chapman Petersen, Fairfax, (804) 698-7534
[email protected], Kathy Neilson
Ralph S. Northam, Norfolk/Mathews (804) 698-7506,
[email protected], Matthew Strickler
Richard Stuart, Northumberland/Stafford, (804) 698-7528
[email protected], Trisha Lewis

Mailing address for all senators is
P. O. Box 406, Richmond, VA 23218

Background Information
The Atlantic menhaden is an important coastal forage fish providing sustenance for fish, bird, and marine mammals.

The economically and recreationally important striped bass (rockfish) is one of the primary predators depending on a healthy menhaden population. Per the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) latest assessment, the coastal menhaden population has declined an alarming 88% in the last 25 years to a historic low.

Anecdotal evidence corroborates the ASMFC's assessment of a severely diminished menhaden presence.

The Chesapeake Bay is a nursery for at least half of all coastal menhaden. In addition to a depleted total menhaden population, the ASMFC notes a diminished spawning capability. The spawning capability of the current coastal population is less than 10% of that of an un-fished (virgin) population.

The ASMFC is currently involved in re-assessing the reference points by which the viability of the coastal stock is measured. The intent is to restore the menhaden population to sustainable levels, and assure that the needs of coastal predators are met.

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This CCA VA alert was provided as a public service by the Coastal Conservation Association Virginia (CCA VA). Feel free to forward it to your friends and associates. If you have any comments concerning this subject, send an email to [email protected]. CCA VA is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose goal is sustainable saltwater fisheries for this and future generations. We are active in legislative, regulatory, and educational activities affecting marine resources. Please visit our website http://www.ccavirginia.org/ for more information.
 
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