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I received this message from a Tidal Fish member by email because he was having trouble getting into Tidal Fish:

"Don't know if you got this, but do know I had to have it forwarded to me by my wife... She got it and I didn't. I'm attaching my revision of the letter that I sent so others can modify it also.

This is the second action alert that I haven't received... And I looked and saw that my email address is in the membership roster and is correct.

Something is wrong!

Any others not get the alert???"

From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 9:27 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Action Alert: Governor Menhaden Letter

CCA wants to generate at least 500 of the attached Menhaden letters to the Governor. The Governor has heard from Omega; he has not heard from many of our members on this issue.

We only have a short Window of time. The General Assembly is scheduled to recess on March 11, 2006. According to the Virginia Code, the governor can only declare this proclamation when the General Assembly is not in session and thirty days prior to the beginning of the Menhaden fishing season. The season is scheduled to open on May 1, 2006. Accordingly, if the Governor is to act he must do it between March 12, and March 31,.2006.

For those that would prefer to email it, there is an email form at:

For those that want to fax it, the Governors Fax number is: (804) 371-6351

You may change the letter to reflect your individual thoughts. The important thing is to send a letter with your name and address. Please don't wait for others to send in their letters. We need you to do yours today!

--------------------------------------------- ------------------------

Date: ______________

Governor Timothy M. Kaine
Patrick Henry Building, 3rd Floor
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Re: Menhaden

Dear Governor Kaine

Virginia has an opportunity to protect the Chesapeake Bay and many popular sport and commercial fish by adopting the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) decision to cap the industrial harvest of menhaden in the bay. The cap will maintain the catch at recent levels so no jobs will be lost. Often called the most important fish in the sea, menhaden are a key food source for striped bass and other sport and commercial fish as well as a filter for Bay waters.

The Virginia General Assembly did not adopt the legislation necessary to enact the ASMFC mandated Cap on Menhaden. Your leadership on this issue is critical. Please take the action necessary to enact the ASMFC mandated cap. Thank you for your consideration.





(Street address)


(City, State, Zip)


The preceding was provided as a public service by the Coastal Conservation Association Virginia (CCA VA). Feel free it to forward it to your associates. If you have any comments concerning this issue, or would like to have your name added/removed from the distribution list send an email to [email protected] The CCA VA is a 501 C-3 charitable organization whose goal is CPR for fish...Conserve, Protect and Restore marine resources for the benefit of all Virginians. Please visit our website located at www.ccavirginia.org for more information.

CCA VA Fisheries Management Committee

This is the letter I wrote:

Dear Governor Kaine,

I am writing to urge you to please enact the recommendations of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to cap the industrial harvest of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay. The Bay is in serious trouble and this action will be a significant and necessary step in not letting it get worse, while we work out what else needs to be done to turn around the present decline.

Part of the Bay's problem is the nutrient pollution from rain water runoff that contains fertilizer from yards, golfcourses, farmer's fields, etc. Another factor is treated sewage effluent which may be deemed safe enough to drink but which still has very high levels of nutrients. These nutrients promote algae blooms which cause oxygen dead zones across the Bay, such that no fish can live there. The underwater grasses die and are not available to support the other underwater life directly and indirectly; thus, everything snowballs and we lose another very important part of the total life cycle of the bay. Menhaden and oysters are filter feeders and help control the algae, thereby helping to deal with the pollution indirectly, but effectively.

I realize Omega Protein has political clout but I hope you will resist their influence. I believe we are all shooting ourselves in the foot thinking we can go on depleting the Bay of this very important filter feeder, especially when we are in trouble with dwindling numbers of the only other filter feeder, the oyster. The argument about losing jobs is without foundation, as the proposed cap will maintain the catch at recent levels and no jobs should be lost.

Also, as I am sure others have said, menhaden is a key food source for striped bass and other sport and commercial fish. If we are successful in the revitalization of the Bay increased revenue to the state will be realized from more license fees and taxes paid by sportsmen and the vendors who supply them with goods. An investment in the health of the Chesapeake Bay is an investment in the prosperity of Virginia.

Thank you for your consideration.


Robert S. Westbrook, DDS
Irvington, VA
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