A bill has been filed in Richmond to address Atlantic menhaden fishing in state waters, calling for a three-year study conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in collaboration with the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. It also calls on recreational anglers, Omega Protein, bait fishery sectors, and nongovernmental organizations to participate and for the study to wrap up by October 1, 2027. While Atlantic menhaden are caught for bait and for processing into animal feed and nutritional supplements, they’re also a major source of food for marine mammals and other fish. The studies will take a look at the seasonal abundance of Atlantic menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay; the movement rates of Atlantic menhaden between the Atlantic coast and Chesapeake Bay; and the impacts of predator demand and consumption of Atlantic menhaden on the menhaden population.
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