Governor calls for moratorium on menhaden fishing

by Megan Schiffres

RICHMOND—The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in October moved forward with a non-compliance referral for the Commonwealth of Virginia regarding its Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.

In response to the ASMFC action, Gov. Ralph Northam called for a moratorium on menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake Bay in a letter last week to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who will ultimately make a ruling on whether the state is in non-compliance.

In September, Omega Protein in Reedville announced it would exceed the harvest cap on menhaden fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, which prompted the ASMFC action.

Formed to coordinate and manage fishery resources across the eastern shores of the U.S., the ASMFC is composed of representatives from 15 states including Virginia.

A yearly harvest cap on menhaden…