Blog Archives

Omega Protein Makes Good on Threat to Cut Jobs, but it Doesn’t Have To

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Omega Protein employs 250 people in Reedville, VA, mostly factory workers and fishermen who net Atlantic menhaden, taking whole schools of the small, oily fish from the ocean and grinding them into meal, oil and solubles. Some of those jobs are in peril, but they shouldn’t be. Omega Protein warned last year that catch limits …

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Unprotected: a Timeline of Inaction on the Most Important Fish in the Sea

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Unprotected: a Menhaden Timeline Menhaden has been called “the most important fish in the sea,” because it forms the base of the Atlantic food web, providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for important marine predators. But it is also an anomaly in Atlantic fishery management. Despite 30 years of scientific evidence pointing to the decline of …

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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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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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Atlantic Menhaden Technical Committee Meeting Minutes

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[Editor's Note: The recommendations of fisheries scientists play a critical role in determining fishing regulations. But unlike regulatory meetings of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which are transcribed, the meetings of the scientific committees are undocumented -- accessible only by attendance. At the Public Trust Project, we make an effort to transcribe, as faithfully …

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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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