Menhaden Study Iced

A few days ago, we told you about an upcoming study involving Menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay. Now comes word that lawmakers in Richmond have decided to put off any decision about launching that study until next year. On Monday, the House Rules Committee delayed consideration of the bill until the 2025 session. The legislation would have mandated that the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences conduct a three-year study of Atlantic Menhaden and a look at whether their numbers are dropping significantly. It all comes about after some environmental and recreational fishing groups have argued that Omega Protein, which operates boats out of Reedville and is last remaining player in the Chesapeake Bay reduction fishery, is depleting the menhaden population in the Bay, causing the dwindling of other species like striped bass. Omega meanwhile, insists that there is no evidence of localized depletion of menhaden, pointing to the fact that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says the menhaden population is healthy.