REEDVILLE, VA / ACCESSWIRE / August 31, 2018 / Late yesterday, Gotham Whale of Staten Island, New York and Menhaden Defenders posted material on Facebook suggesting that legal, regulated fishing of menhaden in federal waters off New York and New Jersey would leave marine mammals such as humpback whales and dolphins with nothing to eat, resulting in the whales moving to other waters. The two posts specifically cited normal fishing activity by Omega Protein Corporation vessels. A blog post by a photographer, linked to by Gotham Whale, falsely accused the fishermen of marine mammal interactions.
These posts resulted in a flurry of activity on Facebook and Twitter.
The facts are the following:
- Omega Protein had one vessel, the F/V Calcasieu Pass, legally fishing in federal waters four to five miles off New York and New Jersey on Wednesday August 29.
- A second vessel, the F/V Rappahannock, legally fished in the same area yesterday, August 30, for approximately six hours.
- Omega Protein spotter pilots reported several menhaden schools numbering in the tens of millions in the region on Thursday.
- Of the tens of millions of fish spotted in the region, the F/V Rappahannock caught just a very small percentage, leaving the vast majority to serve their role in the ecosystem.
The Atlantic menhaden fishery is managed sustainably. According to the latest stock assessment by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the interstate body that manages Atlantic menhaden, the species is neither overfished nor experiencing overfishing. The fishery is also under full assessment for Marine Stewardship Council certification.
About Omega Protein
Omega Protein Corporation is a century old nutritional product company that develops, produces and delivers healthy products throughout the world to improve the nutritional integrity of foods, dietary supplements and animal feeds. Omega Protein's mission is to help people lead healthier lives with better nutrition through sustainably sourced ingredients such as highly-refined specialty oils, specialty proteins products and nutraceuticals. Omega Protein is a division of Cooke Inc., a family owned fishery company based in New Brunswick, Canada.
The Company operates seven manufacturing facilities located in the United States, Canada and Europe. The Company also has a long-term supply contract with Alpha VesselCo, LLC which owns 30 vessels which harvest menhaden, a fish abundantly found off the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The Company's website is www.omegaprotein.com.
All fishing vessels formerly owned by Omega Protein are owned and operated by Alpha VesselCo, LLC, an independent company.
Director of Public Affairs, Omega Protein
SOURCE: Omega Protein Corporation