jason colby

Omega Protein Slapped!

Rate this topic

40 posts in this topic

Industrial fishing giant strikes out twice as it breaks the rules in the Chesapeake Bay

Alexandria, Va. – December 19, 2019 - U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today issued a decision cracking down on overfishing in the Chesapeake Bay and paving the way for better management of the menhaden fishery.

Ross found the state of Virginia out of compliance after foreign-owned Omega Protein willfully violated the fishing cap on menhaden, a key food source for striped bass, in the Chesapeake Bay.

“U.S. Commerce Secretary Ross’ decision to hold Omega Protein accountable for their actions demonstrates clear conservation leadership to the sportfishing and boating industry and anglers along the Atlantic Coast,” said Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “This decision comes at a critical time because menhaden’s top predator, Atlantic striped bass, is currently in poor condition and the Chesapeake Bay is the primary spawning and nursery area for the species. We thank Secretary Ross for recognizing the value menhaden brings to the recreational fishing community and America’s outdoor recreational economy.”

“Secretary Ross made the right move in standing with recreational fishermen,”said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Reduction fishing for menhaden threatens the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working fishing guides and tackle shop owners and impacts everything from striped bass to whales. Today’s decision holds Omega accountable and sets the stage for improved management of this important forage fish.”

“The ASMFC's Policy Board has some of the finest fishery managers in the country on it and they unanimously found Virginia out of compliance with the Menhaden Fishery Management Plan. Upholding the ASMFC's non-compliance finding for Virginia was simply the right thing to do,” said David Sikorski, executive director of Coastal Conservation Association Maryland. “We applaud Secretary Ross for defending both the management system and the forage base in the Chesapeake Bay.”

“Implementing responsible conservation practices across all fisheries is essential to the long-term wellbeing of marine ecosystems and we thank Secretary Ross for doing just that by swiftly addressing menhaden overfishing in the Chesapeake Bay,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “Healthy and sustainable forage fish and sportfish stocks are equally important to the recreational boating and fishing community and this decision is a major step toward protecting and rebuilding both of these critical populations.”

Since October, tens of thousands of recreational anglers, dozens of businesses and organizations, and nine Governors along the east coast, including Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, have all requested that the Secretary take action on this issue. The Virginia General Assembly, which meets in early 2020, must now decide whether to transfer management of menhaden to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission or face a moratorium.

According to a recent scientific study, menhaden reduction fishing contributes to a nearly 30 percent decline in striped bass numbers. The striped bass fishing industry contributes $7.8 billion in GDP to the economy along the Atlantic coast.

 
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That popped up on my email Jason......I had a chuckle and thought of you lol........question......omega's reduction fishery......is that just for fish oil pills or do they also make fish food for the salmon farms????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 mins ago, robc22 said:

That popped up on my email Jason......I had a chuckle and thought of you lol........question......omega's reduction fishery......is that just for fish oil pills or do they also make fish food for the salmon farms????

They make "fish meal" which is primarily used in "feed" for cattle and poultry but to some extent used in some fish feeds. That practice is responsible for the transfer of PCP's and other contaminants that are otherwise unique to seafood. in 1985, The FDA lowered the tolerance for PCP's in fish to 2 parts/billion which, with the way they tested fish made striped bass illegal for sale, at least in New York. Poultry is still at a 4 PPB ("parts per billion") threshold and they test at 2.4 to 2.6.

Funny, when they wanted to sell striped bass again they simply changed the way they tested them (without the skin, belly and guts)….. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

“The ASMFC's Policy Board has some of the finest fishery managers in the country on it”

 

Glad they are standing tough but the above quote made me chuckle!

Edited by Dave T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The General Assembly reserved the power to regulate menhaden to itself because Omega's plants employ several hundred people; protect those jobs, ya know?

Interesting to see Ross do this. It'll be even more interesting to see what Omega is required to do, or not do. Idle a boat? On-board inspector? Shut a plant for X part of the year?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, robc22 said:

That popped up on my email Jason......I had a chuckle and thought of you lol........question......omega's reduction fishery......is that just for fish oil pills or do they also make fish food for the salmon farms????

Omega protein was bought by the Canadian company from its former U.S. parent primarily to provide fish pellets to the Canadian company's Atlantic Salmon farming operations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank goodness!!!  a big win for conservation minded folks!!

 

but that quote in the article, come now, “The ASMFC's Policy Board has some of the finest fishery managers in the country" lol.

 

it seems like any other council (except maybe the NEFMC) does a better job

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 mins ago, MakoMike said:

Omega protein was bought by the Canadian company from its former U.S. parent primarily to provide fish pellets to the Canadian company's Atlantic Salmon farming operations.

I was general manager for a Canadian Salmon Farm Company and I can tell you that Omega produces FAR MORE product than a salmon farm operation can absorb. They still produce many other products, as well as massive amounts of "other feed"....

There is a show available now on Netflix about the level of toxins in Norwegian farmed salmon because of the pollutants in The Baltic sea herring they use for the salmon feed. I'm wondering if they are measuring Omega's salmon products with the same level of scrutiny that they used to shut down the sale of striped bass. I'll bet they are over 2 PPB on PCB count.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Omega Protein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
Jump to navigationJump to search
Omega Protein Corporation
Omegaprotein logo.gif
Public
Traded as NYSEOME
Industry Nutritional products manufacturing
Founded 1913
Headquarters Houston, Texas
Revenue $308.6 million USD(2014)
Number of employees
1150
   

Omega Protein Corporation was a publicly traded US company, founded in 1913 as a fishing operation. As of 2015 it still operated a fishing fleet, and produced food ingredients, dietary supplements and animal feed. Their products included fish oil, fish meal, and proteins.[1] In the 2000s it expanded via acquisitions into ingredients produced from milk and plants.[1] On December 19, 2017 Cooke Inc. completed its acquisition of Omega Protein for $22.00 per share.[2]

Activities[edit]

Omega Protein's fishing fleet takes about 90% of the menhaden harvested in US waters; the extent of its harvest has been a subject of controversy.[3] In December 2012, in the face of the depletion of Atlantic menhaden, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission imposed a limit on Omega's operations, "capping the total annual commercial catch at 170,800 metric tons, about 80 percent of the average harvest from the last three years."[4]

Environmental Record[edit]

For decades Omega Protein has been at the center of controversy over its role in depleting the menhaden populations in the East Coast and in the Chesapeake Bay. The company has been cited for 25 violations of Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules and numerous counts of violation of the Clean Water Act. In 2017 the SEC's subpoena for information on a subsidiary's compliance with probation terms and protection for whistle-blowers caused company stocks to plunge 20%.[5]

Industry Promotion and Certifications[edit]

In 2008 and 2009 Omega Protein received certification from Friend of the Sea, a project for the certification and promotion of seafood from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.[6][7][8] Omega Protein's operations in both the Gulf and along the Atlantic have been regularly recertified since their first certification, with the Gulf of Mexico fishery most recently being recertified in the fall of 2014.[9]

Wisconsin Specialty Protein is a subsidiary of Omega Protein; its Reedsburg, WI facility received the Gold Medal Award in the Green Building category as an Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin 2009 Project of Distinction.[10] and received the Annual Innovation Zone Award from the Dairy Business Innovation Center.[11]

2013 Clean Water Act Violation[edit]

Omega Protein was charged with two counts of discharging pollutants and harmful amounts of oil from its Reedville, VA-based fishing vessels into U.S. waters in violation of the Clean Water Act for violations between May 2008 and December 2010.[12] The company was later sentenced for both violations in United States District Court in Norfolk, VA with 3 years of probation and financial penalties totaling $7.5 million.[13] The company has since paid the fines in full and conducted additional community service to clean regional waterways.[14]

2011 Collision and Sinking[edit]

Omega Protein reported that late in the evening on May 18, 2011, an Omega Protein vessel, the ‘’F/V Sandy Point’’, was involved in a collision with a commercial cargo vessel, the ‘’Eurus London’’, in Mississippi waters approximately eight miles south of Gulfport, Mississippi near Ship Island. As a result of the collision, the ‘’F/V Sandy Point’’ took on water and sank. At the time of the collision, 16 crew members were aboard Omega Protein’s vessel. Authorities accounted for 13 of Omega Protein’s crew members. A search and rescue effort was immediately deployed for the remaining 3 crew members. Joseph von Rosenberg, chairman and chief executive officer at the time of the incident, stated “We are assisting the United States Coast Guard and the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources in the search for our remaining crew members. Our main concern at this time is for our missing 3 crew members and their families.” [15] The three missing crew members’ bodies were found May 20 and 21. The cause for the collision remains unknown pending a lengthy investigation.[16]

2010 BP Oil Spill[edit]

The oil slick resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had an adverse effect on Omega Protein's ability to operate in the fishing grounds east of the Mississippi River Delta, near its Moss Point, Mississippi facility. Regulators closed areas there to commercial fishing.[17] The company developed additional contingency response plans to move its vessels from Morgan City, Louisiana farther west to its Abbeville and Cameron facilities should regulators close a greater portion of the fishing grounds. Following the spill, Omega Protein filed a claim with the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (“GCCF”) to be reimbursed for costs and lost profits resulting from the incident.[18] The GCCF administers funds paid by BP in connection with reimbursements for claims caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

2014 Explosion[edit]

On July 28, 2014, an explosion occurred at the company's fish processing plant in Moss Point, Mississippi. Four men were repairing a fish oil storage tank when the top blew off, killing one contract employee and injuring three others. The incident involved employees of a subcontractor who were working on two tanks.[19]

References

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 mins ago, jason colby said:

I was general manager for a Canadian Salmon Farm Company and I can tell you that Omega produces FAR MORE product than a salmon farm operation can absorb. They still produce many other products, as well as massive amounts of "other feed"....

There is a show available now on Netflix about the level of toxins in Norwegian farmed salmon because of the pollutants in The Baltic sea herring they use for the salmon feed. I'm wondering if they are measuring Omega's salmon products with the same level of scrutiny that they used to shut down the sale of striped bass. I'll bet they are over 2 PPB on PCB count.

No question that they are producing far more products than what can be absorbed by the salmon farming operations. They always have, which is why they prospered under U.S. ownership. I simply said that the Canadian company bought them to insure a supply for their salmon farming operations. One does not exclude the other. 

 

The shut down of striped bass commercial sales over the PCB content was only for the Hudson river stock, the sale of stripers from the Chesapeake bay was never disrupted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not going to quote you whole Wikipedia post, but prior to its acquisition by Cooke, Omega Protein was a wholly owned subsidiary of a Texas company whose name escapes me at the moment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 mins ago, MakoMike said:

 

 

The shut down of striped bass commercial sales over the PCB content was only for the Hudson river stock, the sale of stripers from the Chesapeake bay was never disrupted.

Exactly BUT: The NY shutdown of the sale of striped bass was from 1986 to 1991 when they offered "a few licensed fishermen" 14 tags so they could sell 14 fish (for the year) east of Fire Island Inlet where, they said The Chesapeake stock was more prevalent. 

All BS! I say that because the fish west of that line are the same PCB count today as they were when it was shut down but they allow the sale of thousands of "unsafe" fish now every year. Why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 mins ago, jason colby said:

Exactly BUT: The NY shutdown of the sale of striped bass was from 1986 to 1991 when they offered "a few licensed fishermen" 14 tags so they could sell 14 fish (for the year) east of Fire Island Inlet where, they said The Chesapeake stock was more prevalent. 

All BS! I say that because the fish west of that line are the same PCB count today as they were when it was shut down but they allow the sale of thousands of "unsafe" fish now every year. Why?

I don't know and I don't care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to register here in order to participate.

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.