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stripedbassking

OMEGA Menhaden Over Catch

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Can’t post the link but it seems that Omega company feels they don’t have to obey the laws, which sway their way anyway. Their “penalties” seem to have been delayed, they are trying to skate by.... it’s ridiculous that big companies like this just try and take all the fish they can and don’t care about the future....... they keep saying that there’s tons of Bunker in VA all year but each year that goes on they keep having to go to other states to find them..... just sad to see this happening. Hope that the VA big cheeses will step in but hard to believe they aren’t involved themselves.

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Imagine if registered sex offenders had a powerful lobby and were able to work at day cares because they could buy politicians to escape prosecution: Omegas the registered sex offender in that scenario.

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 They get caught with overfishing, the penalties are established yet there's barriers on enforcement follow through? Either Omegas legal team is earning their keep or there's some palm greasing involved. I suppose this is a state level issue with no federal oversight. If Omega tried this in the Bearing Sea they would have paid the piper 10X. 

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Omega is owned by the huge Canadian conglomerate Cooke Seafood.  They pour money into state legislatures on the quiet, usually through local intermediaries.  That's one of the reasons why state governments sit on their haunches on fisheries issues and why organizations like ASMFC (with a membership bias towards commercial fishing) whistle Dixie and say all is well. 

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Not sure of the article that the OP is referring to, but if it's what I'm thinking it is, this isn't a situation of Omega overfishing, but of Virginia not reducing the reduction quota in Chesapeake Bay.

 

In November 2017, ASMFC adopted a new amendment to the menhaden management plan.  The new amendment dropped the reduction quota in Chesapeake Bay from someting around 87,000 metric tons (if I remember correctly) to 51,000 metric tons.  The Virginia Legislature, which manages menhaden in Virginia (a situation Omega is very happy with) refused to change their laws to adopt the 51,000 quota (again, an outcome that Omega was trying hard to achieve).

 

BUT, over the past few years, including 2018, Omega DID NOT catch 51,000 metric tons in the Bay; the actual landings were far lower.

 

Thus, Virginia was technically out of compliance with ASMFC's management plan, and a motion was made and debated in May 2018 to find them out of compliance.  However, the harsh reality of the situation is that if ASMFC did that, and referred the matter to the Secretary of Commerce, who could impose a moratorium on Virginia's menhaden fishery, Commerce would have overruled ASMFC and left Virginia alone.  There is no doubt at all about that.

 

So ASMFC's Atlantic Menhaden Management Board postponed a vote on the noncompliance motion until August, and then to October, and then to this month, hoping that Virginia would act.  But when the Virginia Legislature quickly killed a bill to hand management over to the agency that manages all of the other salt water fish, it was clear that nothing was going to change.

 

Thus, ASMFC conceded to the reality of the situation, and indefinitely postponed action on the motion, so long as the reduction landings in the Bay remained beneath 51,000 metric tons.  In the end, in a real-world context, it was a tie, rather than a loss for either side.  Yes, Omega got what it wanted--no reduction n the cap.  But it also is landing less than 51,000 mt, so the failure to reduce doesn't matter.

 

Not an ideal situation, but not one that, at the moment, is doing any real harm.

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    If Omega Protein is allowed, by Virginia, to take 81,000mt but can't even fill their ASMFC quota of 51,000mt, I would assume that it is not because of their suddenly conservationist leanings but is, in fact, due to there not being enough menhaden out there for them to be able to catch their limit. If that is so, I would argue (unless presented with evidence to sway me otherwise) that the current situation of Omega harvesting at their current level IS doing harm. The story above seems to me to show that the company is harvesting the maximum that they can possibly remove, given the amount of time, gear, etc. that they are allowed. If that is the case, and they still can't find enough fish to fill the quota, then I would think that allowing them to continue to fish at that level would, at best, delay any possible rebound in the population. Worst case scenario might be that they continue fishing the menhaden toward disaster. 

    Is it coincidence that the striped bass population is also, and simultaneously, shown to be in trouble? This situation is important enough when looked at as one species in decline, but when that species is the major food source for striped bass, bluefish and weakfish (which are also in decline), it seems to be something that we really should be getting involved with.

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Take away the buffet bar, who wants to eat at the restaurant?  Without bunker we all suffer.  Gill netting bunker in my boat for bait shops taking 300 or 400 pounds working 3 or 4 gill nets 100 yards a piece for about 4 or 5 hours in an afternoon is one thing, but when a dragger who doesn't have to follow rules because their company has lobbyist pay off politicians to slip them through the cracks is a whole different animal.  It's all pharmaceutical companies making billions and the fisherman, bait shops, commercial netters, hook & line fisherman, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, stores, etc all suffer so don't blame this crap on a few gill nets that have been out there since Jesus and the disciples were netting over 4000 years ago..... This is all pharmaceutical companies killing the main food supply of the ocean. 

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15 hours ago, BullRake said:

Take away the buffet bar, who wants to eat at the restaurant?  Without bunker we all suffer.  Gill netting bunker in my boat for bait shops taking 300 or 400 pounds working 3 or 4 gill nets 100 yards a piece for about 4 or 5 hours in an afternoon is one thing, but when a dragger who doesn't have to follow rules because their company has lobbyist pay off politicians to slip them through the cracks is a whole different animal.  It's all pharmaceutical companies making billions and the fisherman, bait shops, commercial netters, hook & line fisherman, gas stations, restaurants, hotels, stores, etc all suffer so don't blame this crap on a few gill nets that have been out there since Jesus and the disciples were netting over 4000 years ago..... This is all pharmaceutical companies killing the main food supply of the ocean. 

I laugh when people think it’s mostly for pharmaceutical companies, as if something noble for humankind was being done with menhaden making their extinction purposeful. Nope, the main use for menhaden is animal feed an fertilizer.  The oil people consume for health benefits is overrated homeopathic jumbo jumbo. Omega is a fraud.

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38 mins ago, fishhappy said:

the main use for menhaden is animal feed an fertilizer.  

 

The oil people consume for health benefits is overrated homeopathic jumbo jumbo. Omega is a fraud.

 

One has nothing to do with the other, and there are most certainly f.a. that are healthier and those that are less healthy.  Its really not homeopathic mumbo.  

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