Blog Archives

Fowling the Bay?: Media Reports Absolving Poultry Industry of Pollution are Premature

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Good news about the health of the Chesapeake Bay is rare, which might explain the media flurry surrounding new research that suggests pollution from poultry farms isn’t so bad after all. Representatives of the poultry industry hailed the research, implying that it proved that environmental regulations on farmers have been too stringent. But that conclusion …

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Omega Protein Hiring Hundreds of Foreign Workers While Boasting of Jobs in the U.S.

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The little menhaden is creating quite a ripple. An Atlantic coast fisheries commission is expected by week’s end to set a coast wide catch limit for Atlantic menhaden for the first time in history, despite the lobbying efforts of Omega Protein, the huge Houston-based harvester of the fish. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), …

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Science for Hire: What Industry’s Deep Pockets Are Doing to Our Fisheries

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[Editor's note: This article was cross-posted on Alternet under the title "Science for Hire: Why Industry's Deep Pockets May Be Depleting the Last of Our Fisheries."] It’s sunset in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a time when the little town’s handful of shops board up for the night, and the lights click off at no fewer than …

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The Secretive Fishery Management Agency that Regulates Your Fish

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On an unseasonably warm evening in September 2011, in Danvers, Massachusetts, a fishery regulator and two biologists were taking comments from the public about the decline of an important forage fish called Atlantic menhaden, when something strange happened. The regulator turned to a lobbyist for Omega Protein, the largest commercial harvester of menhaden, and asked …

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No Records Kept: The Potomac River Fisheries Commission’s Mysterious History on Menhaden

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The Potomac River Fisheries Commission (PRFC) has no record of the votes it has made regarding Atlantic menhaden, the controversial forage fish that has been called “the most important fish in the sea” because of its contribution to the diets of dozens of ecologically significant fish, mammals, and shorebirds. PRFC Executive Secretary A.C. Carpenter confirmed …

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Omega Protein’s Private Communications Reveal Attempts to Influence Science

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Emails unearthed in a Freedom of Information Act request indicate that representatives of Omega Protein sought to influence the official government science that determines how many Atlantic menhaden are in the ocean. The emails also suggest that state officials in Virginia were willing to help Omega lobby to limit fishing restrictions that could be imposed …