Menhaden Disaster

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Menhaden Disaster

Postby KAhunter » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:00 am

I have grown up hunting and fishing the Chesapeake Bay and the surrounding rivers and coast my entire life. Some of my favorite memories are fishing for puppy drum and striper on my small 12' aluminum boat on the lafayette river. I have seen the bay and river continually get worse and worse and it honestly seems to keep coming from all directions. This is one I am particularly pissed about because it can be easily controlled and could lead to a great decline in many species around the bay and the overall quality of the bay itself. As much work that has been done to bring fish stocks back like the striped bass and the red drum, a lack of menhaden can lead to the collapse or great reduction of it all. Check out this site as it explains it all and how nothing is being done to stem the overharvest.
http://savemenhaden.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/menhaden-matter/

This site shows the disease Mycobacteriosis that has been occuring more frquently on striped bass. Its occurence is in line with severly declining menhadem stocks. 70% of the fish in the bay have this disease and it is attributed too poor nutrition and lack of food, especially menhaden. I love striped bass fishing but it is disgustion pulling up a sick fish that is covered in lesions. It almost ruins the fun of catching that fish.

http://www.chesapeakebay.net/mycobacteriosis.aspx?menuitem=19598
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby Bill Herian » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:59 pm

I've never even been to that part of the country but I do hear quite a few sad stories about it. Seem like its one ecological disaster after another on the Chesapeake. Too bad, from what I can tell the good ol days out there were just that.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby seastreet » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:14 am

Omega Protein pads the pockets of politicians to look the other way while they do their reduction fishing. During the years that the commercial reduction fishing is limited, the fishing is off the charts for kings, cobia, stripers, etc. When they wipe out the bait, the result is predictable. I don't understand why more commercial guys aren't against this practice. It affects their livelihoods as well. This is what happens when seafood dealers are allowed to make the rules. The everyday commercial guys who don't own big trawlers get screwed too.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby ncbufflehead » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:48 pm

seastreet wrote: I don't understand why more commercial guys aren't against this practice. It affects their livelihoods as well.

there's a lot of commercial guys that would love to see a "reduction" in the menhaden reduction fishery but they damn sure aren't going to join hands with the likes of the groups in the link above. the agenda doesn't stop at sustainable fisheries :wink:
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby JTR » Mon Oct 31, 2011 7:52 am

Its not just the Chesapeake Bay either. Omega has essentially destroyed the pogie population. I remember, not long ago, when you could practically walk on pogies in Boston Harbor and around the cape. Now, you are lucky to find them.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby tamer » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:04 am

seastreet wrote:Omega Protein pads the pockets of politicians to look the other way while they do their reduction fishing. During the years that the commercial reduction fishing is limited, the fishing is off the charts for kings, cobia, stripers, etc. When they wipe out the bait, the result is predictable. I don't understand why more commercial guys aren't against this practice. It affects their livelihoods as well. This is what happens when seafood dealers are allowed to make the rules. The everyday commercial guys who don't own big trawlers get screwed too.


hi seastreet, don't know exactly but what i know about Menhaden Disaster which i am sharing with you. The deal with fish oil, I found out, is that a considerable portion of it comes from a creature upon which the entire Atlantic coastal ecosystem relies, a big-headed, smelly, foot-long member of the herring family called menhaden, which a recent book identifies in its title as “The Most Important Fish in the Sea.”

The book’s author, H. Bruce Franklin, compares menhaden to the passenger pigeon and related to me recently how his research uncovered that populations were once so large that “the vanguard of the fish’s annual migration would reach Cape Cod while the rearguard was still in Maine.” Menhaden filter-feed nearly exclusively on algae, the most abundant forage in the world, and are prolifically good at converting that algae into omega-3 fatty acids and other important proteins and oils. They also form the basis of the Atlantic Coast’s marine food chain.

Nearly every fish a fish eater likes to eat eats menhaden. Bluefin tuna, striped bass, redfish and bluefish are just a few of the diners at the menhaden buffet. All of these fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids but are unable themselves to synthesize them. The omega-3s they have come from menhaden.

But menhaden are entering the final losing phases of a century-and-a-half fight for survival that began when humans started turning huge schools into fertilizer and lamp oil. Once petroleum-based oils replaced menhaden oil in lamps, trillions of menhaden were ground into feed for hogs, chickens and pets. Today, hundreds of billions of pounds of them are converted into lipstick, salmon feed, paint, “buttery spread,” salad dressing and, yes, some of those omega-3 supplements you have been forcing on your children. All of these products can be made with more environmentally benign substitutes, but menhaden are still used in great (though declining) numbers because they can be caught and processed cheaply.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby thiggin » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:55 am

the tools to stop overfishing of bunker are in place or could easily be implemented. Let the middle atlantic and new england states have a tariff on each haul that the out of state boats make and they cant make money. take this tariff,fee,penalty or whatever you want to call it and use to restore fisherys in the region, sort of an oceanic superfund. when bunker populations are determined by all these states to be viable and fishable ease off a little. also havethe various state agencies such as fish and game or environmental protecion harass the hell out of the boats cleaning out the chesapeke and delaware bay and fine the crap out of them for any infraction found. despite how this might appear i am not against commercial fishing as long as all aspects of it are taken in account. and damn right sportsmen should be very high on that list of accounts.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby grizz18 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:29 pm

JTR wrote:Its not just the Chesapeake Bay either. Omega has essentially destroyed the pogie population. I remember, not long ago, when you could practically walk on pogies in Boston Harbor and around the cape. Now, you are lucky to find them.


Thats bc they're all in Wilmington NC
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby circustrail » Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:17 pm

that is really a Disaster
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby dudejcb » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:36 pm

Do you know you can get more Omega 3 oils from Chia than from salmon? Yeah, the same chia of Chia Pet fame is now a nutirent rich Uber Food.

Not sure this will help menhaden too much as chia farmers dont have the lobby that fishing and food industries do.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby aunt betty » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:37 pm

I'm trying to educate myself on this issue. It appears that the fishing industry has decided to just fish for bait fish and is destroying the entire food chain from the bottom up. Does this affect the American Bald Eagle?

If it does...then there is your excuse to start a war. I suspect in some way it does affect the population of Eagles. Food chain is linked by 'links" ... like a chain...DUH.

That's the only way I can think of to drum up nation-wide support over these menhaden fish. I'm from Illinois so know little or nothing about commercial fishing but I'm willing to educate myself and try to help. It sounds like a really bad thing. Maybe I'd make the problem worse by becoming involved in something I know little about...There's a point buried in here somewhere.

The point is that people from New York should not tell people in Colorado or Montana what to do with wolves for instance. I'm not going to tell you what to do about the Menhaden because I'm ignorant about fishing...That's the point. :hammer:

Depending on my source of info...I could be misled into really messing things up so I'll let the experts figure this out.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby JTR » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:31 am

No need to worry about the pogies any more... the fish pill manufacturers have gone further down the food chain and are now utilizing krill. Before long, we will have no more whales.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby joemc » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:26 pm

i live in calvert county and i grew up just as you and i know exactly what your saying im frustrated with the whole commercial deal commercial guys can catch rockfish in huge nets during winter and we cant catch them on a rod, they can keep female crabs but the average joe cant to me if the public cant do it the commercial shouldnt be able to. the health of the bay just keeps declining its very sad and the omega 3 stuff just pisses me off. to me america is going down a bad road, what happend to if i want a fish for dinner i go catch a fish. and people are worried about over hunting over fishing is the problem. there realy isnt any commercial hunting but commercial fishing is ruining the bay and the oceans. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby joemc » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:28 pm

aunt betty wrote:I'm trying to educate myself on this issue. It appears that the fishing industry has decided to just fish for bait fish and is destroying the entire food chain from the bottom up. Does this affect the American Bald Eagle?

If it does...then there is your excuse to start a war. I suspect in some way it does affect the population of Eagles. Food chain is linked by 'links" ... like a chain...DUH.

That's the only way I can think of to drum up nation-wide support over these menhaden fish. I'm from Illinois so know little or nothing about commercial fishing but I'm willing to educate myself and try to help. It sounds like a really bad thing. Maybe I'd make the problem worse by becoming involved in something I know little about...There's a point buried in here somewhere.

The point is that people from New York should not tell people in Colorado or Montana what to do with wolves for instance. I'm not going to tell you what to do about the Menhaden because I'm ignorant about fishing...That's the point. :hammer:

Depending on my source of info...I could be misled into really messing things up so I'll let the experts figure this out.



its all hooked together if you loose just one little baitfish watch out it will all fall.
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Re: Menhaden Disaster

Postby Bloke » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:50 am

This menhaden issue is a huge concern as they are the main food source that just about all predatory and sport fish feed on. Coming from North Carolina I can tell you that the overfishing dramatically effects the fisheries. Couple that with the commercial harvest of the sport fish as well and there is nothing left for the rest of us and once they have sold the last one they will move on. They don't see a species, they see a dollar bill. Then when you try to introduce any kind of reform they cry about it being their birth right. They also have some very deep pockets to pay lobbyists. I am glad to say that the countless menhaden processor houses scattered along our inshore waters are now abandoned battered shells but our stocks are still taken advantage of by the large factory ships sent here from VA care of Omega. Commercial sein harvesting is banned in NC yet the last 2 years there have been video and reports of the factory ships right off our inlets harvesting huge schools of them along with anything else feeding on them at the time. You can directly see the results when you go to catch bait for old drum or tarpon in the summer. Nothing to be found. The small fines imposed on the factory ships are but pennies compared to what they rape from our waters. They pay the fine, offload, then come back for more. I have lost all hope in something being done to curtail the overfishing done by commercial harvest and any new regulations passed are always to the benefit of them and to the hest of recreational fishermen.
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