creative commons

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Tens of thousands of dead fish have washed up on Virginia's Eastern Shore after a net recently tore during menhaden harvesting.

Media outlets report that Omega Protein alerted the Virginia Marine Resources Commission of the tear on Oct. 7. The fish began washing ashore over the weekend. The company estimates it lost about 75,000 fish.

Commission spokeswoman Laurie Naismith says Omega mobilized a cleanup crew, which worked to clean up the dead fish at the company's cost.

creative commons

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources says the Menhaden season is over.

The announcement came earlier this week with the agency saying that the quota has been met.

Harry Phillips with Russell Hall Seaford told WBOC that he was concerned that there weren’t any specific numbers from DNR.

The state officials say that they have two reporting systems -- electronic and a monthly log.

But since not all of the watermen have the immediate electronic system of reporting the agency believes that the August monthly log will show the quota has been met.

Watermen and farmers have filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to over turn new regulations that reduce the Menhaden quota.

Captain Robert Newberry, a spokesman for the group, told WBOC that he believes the Chesapeake Bay should not be regulated like the Atlantic Ocean.

The cut in the quota is the result of the state seeking federal grant money.

Meanwhile, the Maryland Attorney General issued a statement last yesterday saying that the new rules are lawful.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia legislators are set to consider a 20 percent cut in the catch of menhaden, an oily fish used in dietary supplements, animal feed and other purposes.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted last month in Baltimore to reduce the commercial catch of the pudgy fish. A House of Delegates subcommittee is scheduled to review that decision on Thursday.

The Omega Protein plant in Reedville lands about 80 percent of the catch and employs about 300. The company had supported an overall 10 percent cut.


A fish killed has left 75-hundred menhaden in the Broadkill River dead.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control said another 10 Striped Bass and 8 Carp also died.

DNREC suspects low oxygen levels in the river due to heavy rain. 

WBOC TV reports that some fisherman in Sussex County said they were worried about their health.

But state officials said there should be no concern yet. 

DNREC is testing the water testing.  


       LEWES, Del. (AP) - A regional fisheries oversight body is proposing changes to the interstate fishery management plan for Atlantic menhaden.

     A hearing was planned Wednesday night at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control field office in Lewes on the proposal by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

     Officials say the revision is needed because a panel found in 2010 that menhaden population abundance had declined steadily and recruitment had been low since the last peak observed in the early 1980s.