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Discussion Starter #1
No news from Capitol Hill vis-a-vis the menhaden cap. Assemby's back in session, I doubt they'll ajourn before saturday so I guess that means it's up to the ASMFC now.

Hope they hurry up so I can figure out if I still need to obey the rockfish regulations this year.[sad]
 

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Seems like it has the potential. I just hope it's an open debate/fight and not a back room brokered deal kind of thing. I'm no expert but more than the fate of menhaden & the Bay it sounds like ASFMC's cred is on the line. Not sure if the current administration will back them up seeing as who's living in the White House.
 

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He made a statement ! http://www.governor.virginia.gov/MediaRelations/NewsReleases/2006/Mar06/index.cfm

About basket ball[sad]
 

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Looks like its not going to happen this year afterall...

Norfolk Virginian Pilot
Kaine won't impose cap on menhaden from Chesapeake Bay
April 1, 2006

http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=102377&ran=10883

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will not impose a cap this year on the harvesting of menhaden from the Chesapeake Bay, his office said late Friday, just hours before an April 1 deadline arrived.


A spokesman said the governor is concerned about the possible consequences of his inaction, which might include a closure of all state waters to menhaden fishing. But, by a quirk in the law, Kaine had no choice but to back away, his press secretary, Kevin Hall , said.

Here's the rub:

A state law passed last year empowers the governor to enact a cap on menhaden if, after consulting with scientists and regulators, he believes such a limit is necessary to protect the little silvery fish, which are important to Virginia's economy as well as the Bay's ecosystem.


However, he must act at least 30 days before the start of the menhaden season on May 1 - hence, the April 1 deadline - and only when the General Assembly is not in session.

Given that the General Assembly remains in session - albeit a special session, on the stalled state budget and transportation issue - Kaine believes his hands are legally tied, Hall said.

"The governor is concerned about the potential for a moratorium" on menhaden fishing, Hall said, "and is disappointed the General Assembly didn't enact a cap when it had the chance."

State lawmakers could have adopted any of three proposed bills this year that would have restricted the annual catch to about 105,000 metric tons. The cap was endorsed last year by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission , a regulator panel that sets policies from Florida to Maine.

All three bills were killed or withdrawn in the House and never resurfaced in the Senate, mostly because critics said they lacked specific science to support them and were legally fuzzy. Attorney General Bob McDonnell also opined that the cap was not legally binding on Virginia.

The winner in the debate is the menhaden industry, which probably will be allowed again this year to catch as many fish as its wants from Virginia waters and squeeze them into meal, pet food and health supplements at a processing plant in Reedville .

The industry largely is controlled by Omega Protein , a Texas-based company that owns the Reedville plant, the largest of its kind on the East Coast, as well as a fleet of fishing vessels and aircraft used for spotting schools of menhaden.

An Omega spokesman, Toby Gascon , was delighted and relieved by the news out of the governor's office.

"When regulations are available that are backed by peer-reviewed science, we'll be the first ones at the table," Gascon said. "We have as much a stake as anyone that menhaden stocks remain healthy."

Humans do not eat menhaden, but just about every game fish on the Atlantic coast does. Sports fishermen have long argued that shortages of healthy striped bass and bluefish, among other favored species, are due to declining menhaden stocks.

Menhaden also are filter feeders, meaning they help soak up excessive nutrients and algae that otherwise pollute the Chesapeake Bay. Environmentalists have urged protections of menhaden stocks for years. And in almost every state, except Virginia, rules against the industrial harvesting of menhaden exist today.

Todd Keller , a spokesman for the environmental group Menhaden Matter , said members are disappointed and frustrated by Friday's news.

"It's just unfortunate," Keller said.

He said the Virginia law passed last year empowering the governor to set a cap is "ridiculously complicated" and "clearly written by those favoring the industry."

Keller said the group would ask the U.S. Commerce Department to find Virginia in violation of the coastal fishing commission's cap endorsed last year.

John Daniel , a former Virginia secretary of natural resources and an attorney helping Menhaden Matter, said Kaine made the legally correct decision.

"My understanding was that he was looking for a way to act on this," Daniel said, "but he's gotten caught up in this snag, this nit-picky stuff."


Reach Scott Harper at (757) 446-2340 or [email protected]
 

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If nothing else happens between now and July 2, 2006, Virginia will be out of compliance with the ASMFC Cap. That should set the wheels in motion for the Secty of Commerce to shut down the fishery in Virginia. That is of course, if nothing else happens.
 
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[Q]Catch This originally wrote:
If nothing else happens between now and July 2, 2006, Virginia will be out of compliance with the ASMFC Cap. That should set the wheels in motion for the Secty of Commerce to shut down the fishery in Virginia. That is of course, if nothing else happens.
[/Q]

What I see happing is:
Virginia will wait until the Secretary of Commerce makes his move then Virginia will obtain a stay of the Secretary's action until the matter can be ruled on by a federal court.

Probably will be a year before anything is straight.

Once again the fishing clubs have dropped the ball.
The first time was asking for a five-year average when they should have asked for half of the five-year average.

The second time, not foreseeing a political maneuver by the GA. Amateurs playing with pros.
 

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Captain Mike, I am a member of most of the organizations that you refer to as "fishing clubs" for years. I had been been active in the past but now have stepped back somewhat. I am aware of the inner actions of the ASMFC by my partner who has attended all the ASMFC meetings for the past several years. You have blamed or found fault with "the fishing clubs" somehow for many Bay issues. Why, what have "the fishing clubs" done to you and why are you so bitter? Many times when I read your posts I wonder why you are so critical of "the fishing clubs"? Was there an individual who harmed you in some way? I do not agree with everything "the fishing clubs" do but I would never try to stretch the truth and blame them for something they had little to do with (5 year study period). I feel you believe "the fishing clubs" have allot more power then they actually do. There are several organizations active in the menhaden issue and what you refer to as "the fishing clubs" did not originate the battle. You call "the fishing clubs" amateurs but in this case you are not accurate. There are lawyers, professional lobbyists, fishery scientists and fishery management folks involved with supporting the moratorium and study of the localized depletion of menhaden. How did "fishing clubs" offend or hurt you???? If you let us know perhaps we can make amends or rectify the matter (or understand why you are so angry)?
 

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We can debate all day long what the Fishing Clubs did right and what they did wrong. In reality, the 5 year average was one on the options ASMFC offered when this issue went to public hearings last summer. During the public hearings, the overwhelming majority of those who spoke wanted an outright ban, but that wasn’t one of the options. The board used the 5 year average and most of the organizations went along with that because it was progress. Not a lot, but it was progress.

The ASMFC Menhaden Committee will meet again in May. They will ask for a status on Virginia. They will be told no progress. Hopefully, they will issue a warning to Virginia. The other states in ASMFC will want some action. The rules don’t apply to every state except Virginia.

Between now and then, there will be some high level discussions between the feds and VA, because neither the Federal Government nor Virginia wants a moratorium. Politically, it is just too messy.

If there is no agreement or compromise between now and July 2, Virginia will be out of compliance. The other states will want action. ASMFC has to refer this to the Secretary of Commerce at that point. The threat of the Moratorium will cause something to happen. We will just have to wait and see what that turns out to be. In the interim, you can bet the “fishing clubs” will turn the pressure up on ASMFC.

If nothing else, hopefully Virginia just found out why the management of menhaden belongs in VMRC and not in the General Assem
 

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Thanks for the article reel excuse, very informative. I'm not so sure it is such a bad thing. Omega may be able to try and catch over the Cap this year. It may also bring to light the inner political BS in VA and ruin their creditability.

Omega is betting it all on their ability to declare ASMFC cap non-binding because of a lack of science. There is a lack of pure science. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that strongly suggests localized depletion is occurring in the Bay.

It will be interesting to see if ASMFC has enough might to regulate a fishery based on this type of evidence. Many wanted a ban on the fishery. That would have been certain suicide for ASMFC. Omega has found a nice home in VA with political favoritism. It will take a lot to dislodge them. I wonder if their plan will backfire on them?

Capt Mike & Top Fish, There was some discussion about this on the crabbing board recently. It got a little heated. Many people didn't want to see it on that board. I vowed to keep all political talk here. I am also interested in discussing this with Capt Mike. I'll start a new thread here so as not to mix things up too much. Please reply on the new thread.

[q] If nothing else, hopefully Virginia just found out why the management of menhaden belongs in VMRC and not in the General Assem[/q]
Good point.
 
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Topfish

I don't intend to to get in a lengthy discusion as to what your fishing clubs are and why.

What I will say is, you and Catch This have your series of events wrong as to the who did what and when.

Interesting, that an idea will be claimed by a group of organizations but when the idea starts going south, the group wants to then say it wasn't their idea. Damage Control?
 

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I guess you and Junebug went to the same school: "Jumble Word Game Institute". I do not speak for any "Fishing Club" but I am dismayed about your hostility toward recreationals (many of which belong to your alleged "fishing clubs") which I do not understand. Allot of us have altruistic reasons for belonging to what you call "fishing clubs". We have enjoyed the Bay for many years and want a way to give back, to make it better for the future. We are not going to join WMA, Md Charter Boat Assoc, etc. We join CCA, MSSA, CBF, Etc. Everything these Organisations do is not sanctioned by all of us. Basically as I see it ,all of us are out for the same thing (including Commercials): how to make the Bay better. The rhetoric you expose goes a long way in dividing the groups and the ultimate goal of making The Bay better. I respect guys like Larry Simns, he is a wise man. Larry does not go out of his way to incite any group that does not agree with the MWA. Larry is very reasonable and knows how to work the system without throwing bricks! There is much to be learned from wise men.
 

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I do not speak for any fishing clubs but according to my recollection the local depletion of menhaden issue developed in the following order:


1. Captain Jim Price (Charter Boat Captain) who has his own Conservation Org (not a fishing club) was first to wave the red flag about the lack of menhaden in The Bay. Captain Jim persisted and gained attention to the issue. Jim Price is a CCA member.( I believe Mike Anderson was at the CCAKN Fishing Tournament last summer, you had to join CCA in order partake in the Tournament. Therefore Capt. Mike is a closeted fellow CCAMD member, I will verify. Boy Capt Mike probably belongs to a "fishing club"? In fact I think I have a picture of Capt Mike at the event eating crabs and having a wonderful day, thanks Mike for supporting "a fishing club".) Will post picture when I find it.
2. CCAVA picked up the banner.
3. CCAMD followed
4. CBF Joined in
5. MSSA got on the boat.
6. National Coalition for Marine Conservation joined in
7. Environmental Defense joined in
Other groups joined in including Gov. Ehrlich and MDDNR.

I do not think it matters who started the issue but who got off their butts to do something about it. As far as I see it all the Organisations can take credit for a win for their efforts. No one is backing away from taking credit as you have incorrectly written.
 
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[Q]Topfish originally wrote:
I guess you and Junebug went to the same school: "Jumble Word Game Institute". I do not speak for any "Fishing Club" but I am dismayed about your hostility toward recreationals (many of which belong to your alleged "fishing clubs") which I do not understand. Allot of us have altruistic reasons for belonging to what you call "fishing clubs". We have enjoyed the Bay for many years and want a way to give back, to make it better for the future. We are not going to join WMA, Md Charter Boat Assoc, etc. We join CCA, MSSA, CBF, Etc. Everything these Organisations do is not sanctioned by all of us. Basically as I see it ,all of us are out for the same thing (including Commercials): how to make the Bay better. The rhetoric you expose goes a long way in dividing the groups and the ultimate goal of making The Bay better. I respect guys like Larry Simns, he is a wise man. Larry does not go out of his way to incite any group that does not agree with the MWA. Larry is very reasonable and knows how to work the system without throwing bricks! There is much to be learned from wise men.
[/Q]

Hostility towards recreational fisherman is a ruse to discredit me. Your fishing club is great at smoke and mirrors. Fishing Club 101???

People, under the guise of conservatism, who want fish only for a select few, reek of greed. Stand back and examine your fishing clubs policies, then tell me otherwise.

Please don't tell me I'm dividing groups, the leaders of your fishing club are light years ahead of me in that respect.

BTW.... I am not a member of your fishing club. Check your rolls.
Although I'm a member of the Democratic Party and don't agree with their policies either.
 

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Speaking of smoke and mirrors, would you kindly come out of the closet and tell us what "fishing club" you are always referring to or is it all "fishing clubs"? As I mentioned I belong to several organisations that according to you could be classified as "fishing clubs". I just want to know which of the leaders I should be taking to "the mast"??
 

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Top, this a a VIRGINIA issue to be decided by VIRGINIA lawmakers.

Get lost Yankee! I could care less what you think.

Keep you Yankee nose out of our business.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This is a Chesapeake Bay issue. Everyobody has a stake in it. Virginians don't want to come into the twenty first century, they'd rather keep fighting the Civil War.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So given the Governor can't/won't act by law and the GA won't act unless brought back into session AGAIN, how can ANY action legally be taken between now and July 1?
 
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