Governor Ralph Northam has asked Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to shut down Reedville’s Omega Protein. This move would put hundreds of local people out of work.
Northam sent a letter to Ross last week saying Omega was “out of compliance” with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s finding that Omega had taken more menhaden from the Chesapeake Bay in 2019 than the ASMFC’s 2017 limit of 51,000 metric tons which the Virginia General Assembly has refused to impose. Virginia’s menhaden industry is directly regulated by the General Assembly rather than the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. Under Virginia law, Omega could take 87,000 metric tons of menhaden from the Bay, a figure originally set by the ASMFC several years ago.
The ASMFC became aware that Omega had taken more than the 51,000 mt when Omega informed it of such. In August and September rough conditions made fishing the ocean hazardous and schools of menhaden that normally were in the ocean had moved into the lower bay.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 11/27/19