Virginia regulator worried about Chesapeake Bay menhaden catch

Outdoors Bound

FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2019 file photo, watermen dredge for oysters on the Chesapeake Bay in southern Maryland near Ridge, Md. An environmental group released a new analysis Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, of Defense Department records that has found the groundwater of at least nine military installations near the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia is contaminated with high levels of toxic “forever chemicals.” (AP Photo/Brian Witte, File)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — This year’s menhaden catch so far in the Chesapeake Bay is worrying Virginia’s top fisheries regulator.

Virginia Marine Resources Commissioner Steven Bowman wrote that Virginia-based company Omega Protein has already caught 75 percent of the bay’s quota for the oily fish.

A company spokesman tells the Daily Press of Newport News that Omega won’t exceed the cap.

The company operates a fish oil and fishmeal plant in Reedville. Differing quotas led to confrontations between Virginia and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in 2019.

Bowman says the state could face a moratorium and further quota cuts if this year’s cap is exceeded.

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