Tag Archives: Chesapeake Bay Foundation

House kills fish bill: Does Virginia risk falling out of compliance with menhaden catch limits?

The House of Delegates on Tuesday killed a bill, opposed by an influential Northern Neck commercial fishing operation, that would have brought Virginia into compliance with new menhaden catch limits adopted last fall by a consortium of Atlantic states. Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, made a motion to send his House Bill 1610, which had been sent down by Gov. Ralph Northam last month, back to committee, effectively spiking it for the year. In an interview, Knight said he did so in hopes that Northam’s administration and Omega Protein,,>click to read<20:42

Chesapeake Bay advocates alarmed by plan that could open oyster sanctuaries to watermen

Some of the Chesapeake Bay’s most densely populated oyster sanctuaries could be opened to periodic harvesting under a plan being floated by state officials, setting up more conflict between alarmed environmentalists and watermen seeking to make a living. Neither side is pleased with the first draft of a new map of sanctuary boundaries in Maryland’s share of the bay. While watermen would gain some territory they ceded when a state oyster restoration strategy launched in 2010, dredging would be banned in other areas that are now open to harvesting. The net effect would be a loss of 11 percent of oyster sanctuary, instead opening up that acreage to watermen for undetermined stretches of time once every few years. Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration has supported what it calls “rotational harvesting” as a way to balance oyster recovery and bay restoration with the demands of the seafood industry. Continue reading the article here 15:17

Proposed Maryland oyster study draws watermen’s ire

A bill heard this week by a Senate committee would require scientists to determine a sustainable rate of harvest. But it has drawn the ire of watermen and the seafood industry, who contend such a study is unnecessary and a threat to their livelihood. Supporters of the legislation, including environmentalists and recreational anglers, warned Tuesday that despite a population surge the past few years, the state’s oysters may be at risk of overfishing. That could have dire consequences, they said. Oysters are not only the state’s second most valuable commercial fishery, they also help clean the Chesapeake’s water and provide vital habitat for other fish. The bill, introduced by Sen. Roger Manno, a Montgomery County Democrat. Read the rest here 14:08

National View: It’s now or never for blue crabs

sct logoTwo years ago, you could pretty much bank on it: Leave the dock at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and be back by 9 with a bushel or so of scrappy male crabs. Then it was just a matter of hooking up the cooker, herding the crabs into the steamer and sitting back for the 25 minutes or so it takes to turn them red and scrumptious. Read more here 08:15

Virginia Crabbers feel the pinch of slim pickings

Newport News, Va., Daily Press – Michael Diggs of Poquoson has been a waterman for more than 40 years, and says the blue crab harvest as the 2013 season kicks in is slim pickings. “Oh, Lord, things are tight,” Diggs, 62, said Monday. “One good week — since then, it’s been downhill.” During the first week of the crab season in mid-March, he said he was catching 25 to 30 bushels a day around Buckroe and Grandview. His haul dropped rapidly to seven or eight bushels. continued


Menhaden harvest cut 20% –

Menhaden Meeting

By Pamela Wood — The Capital

BALTIMORE — Regulators cracked down on the harvest of Atlantic Coast menhaden, a small and oily fish that has a crucial role in the ecosystem. Meeting in Baltimore on Friday, a multistate fishery board cut the total harvest by 20 percent for at least two years. “This is a gamble, but it’s a good first step,” said Will Baker, president of the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The bay foundation — and other environmental and fishing groups — were hoping to cut the harvest by as much as 25 percent. http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/environment/menhaden-harvest-cut/article_1d1aaec6-46ff-54d6-8a17-ff280057e0be.html

Panel votes to cut menhaden harvest by 20 percent Baltimore Sun

ASMFC Approves Atlantic Menhaden Amendment 2 savingmenhaden.org

Omega Protein Statement on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Vote


The war over Menhaden @ Saving Menhaden Fisheries. Stock Assessment Exacerbates, Inflames Envirokooks

   November 27, 2012 — In the Fredericksburg (Virginia) Free Lance-Star, Mr. Deil argues that “while the environmental advocacy community claims these precipitous cuts are necessary to conserve the resource, the truth is much more nuanced.”
And in the Roanoke (Virginia) Times, Mr. Deil engaged in a “point-counterpoint” with Chris Moore of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.