ATLANTIC MENHADEN

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, February 5-7, 2019

As expected, the Board decided that Virginia was not out of compliance with the Chesapeake Bay harvest cap. Virginia had not harvested the entire quota, that there would be trouble in convincing the US Secretary of Commerce to support a finding of non-compliance, and that there was no specific scientific data to support 51,000 metric tons (mt), were each mentioned by various Board members. But all is not lost. The motion that did pass the Board allows the existing Bay cap to remain in the Plan, allows for another compliance review should Virginia ever exceed the cap in the future, and requires action to modify the cap after the ecological reference point work is completed. The motion that passed can be considered a small victory of sorts.  Omega would be foolish to ever exceed the existing Bay cap, we have actually achieved what we set out for…a serious reduction in the harvest of menhaden in Chesapeake Bay.

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