Blog Archives

The Fish at the Heart of the Food System

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By Alison Fairbrother and David Schleifer You have never seen a menhaden, but you have eaten one. Although no one sits down to a plate of these silvery, bug-eyed, foot-long fish at a seafood restaurant, menhaden travel through the human food chain mostly undetected in the bodies of other species, hidden in salmon, pork, onions, …

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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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Making Waves: Delegate Cites PTP Investigation in Op-Ed

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In an op-ed published on SoMdNews.com, Maryland delegate Peter F. Murphy (District 28), highlighted a Public Trust Project investigation that found that Omega Protein had hired hundreds of foreign workers to labor on the company’s fishing boats and factories, while claiming to be an exceptional job creator on American shores. Del. Murphy wrote, “…jobs for U.S. …

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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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