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Canadian Company Dumps 400,000 Dead Fish into Chesapeake Bay

Menhaden Fishing Boat.jpg
VIMS
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Omega Protein takes half a billion menhaden from the Bay each year.

Critics are calling on Governor Northam and the Virginia Marine Resource Commission to ban industrial fishing for menhaden – something Maryland has already done. Over the years, Omega has donated more than $656,000 to Virginia politicians including Ralph Northam.

Menhaden have been called the most important fish in the sea, because so many other creatures feed on them, but a firm called Omega protein sucks up more than half a billion from Chesapeake Bay each year to make pet food and nutritional supplements. Sport fishermen and scientists say bass and bluefish populations have fallen, and now comes word that 400,000 menhaden were dumped into the lower bay last week.

“Every so often they’ll snag a net on the bottom and end up releasing fish that hadn’t been pumped on board yet, but they’re about to be," says Chesapeake Bay Foundation Senior Scientist Chris Moore. "Unfortunately because of the stress of being caught and bunched up in the net, most of those fish end up perishing.”

Critics are calling on Governor Northam and the Virginia Marine Resource Commission to ban industrial fishing for menhaden – something Maryland has already done. Over the years, Omega has donated more than $656,000 to Virginia politicians including Ralph Northam.