NEW CASTLE, NH / ACCESSWIRE / October 28, 2019 / Omega Protein is disappointed in today's vote by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Menhaden Management Board to request Virginia's menhaden fishery be found out of compliance for exceeding a cap on harvest in the Chesapeake Bay.
"In the last decade, we have made a concerted effort to fish outside the Bay whenever weather conditions and the location of the fish have made that possible," said Monty Deihl, who has managed the Atlantic menhaden marine ingredients fishing fleet since 2010.
Average Chesapeake Bay landings from 2000 to 2009 were 92,500 metric tons. Between 2010 and 2019, menhaden Bay landings decreased by 45 percent to 51,000 mt. Between 2010 and 2019 the ASMFC has set the Bay cap between 51,000 mt and 109,000 mt.
"The best available science points to a fishery that is healthy and sustainable," said Bret Scholtes, CEO of Omega Protein. "As we have done for many years, we pledge to work with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to improve menhaden management, as we move toward ecological reference points."
The most recent assessment in 2017 found that the species is not overfished, nor is it experiencing overfishing. In September, the fishery was certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council.
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 Ocean Harvesters, 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 Ocean Harvesters, an independent company.
Director of Public Affairs, Omega Protein
SOURCE: Omega Protein