July 7, 2006
The annual industrial menhaden harvest isn't the only fishy thing happening in Virginia. Lawmakers, including Gov. Tim Kaine, let a deadline slip by this month for adopting a five-year cap on industrial menhaden harvesting in the Chesapeake Bay. The lack of action is a slap at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a 15-state panel that overwhelmingly set the ceiling late last summer. Worse, it's an undeserved affront to Maryland, whose efforts to restore the health of the Chesapeake often run into barriers thrown up by our commonwealth neighbor and co-custodian of the bay. The tiny menhaden - also known as bunker, alewife and pogy - is a boney, oily fish that serves as an important food source for bigger bay fish and other natural predators.
April 20, 2000
CONSERVATION may not be hard science but it is certainly common sense. If a resource is obviously threatened, conservation is prudent. That is the thrust of the deliberate decision to cut back on catches of Atlantic horseshoe crabs, those dark olive, helmet-like creatures often seen along our ocean beaches and bays. Informal surveys have found their numbers declining; one count traced a drop of 50 percent over the past decade. Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey imposed commercial harvest limits in recent years to reduce pressure on the crab, used primarily as bait to catch conch and eel. Recognizing the danger, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission ordered all Eastern states to reduce their take of horseshoe crabs by 25 percent as of May 1. Virginia is the lone holdout, claiming a lack of scientific basis for the quotas.
April 8, 2000
A multistate agency that regulates East Coast commercial fishing has found Virginia is out of compliance with an order to cut its state's harvest of horseshoe crabs, a ruling that could lead to federal orders to shut down Virginia's horseshoe crab industry. Virginia's fisheries managers have defied a 25 percent cut ordered by a management board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The state's refusal to lower its catch could wipe out conservation efforts in Maryland, New Jersey and other coastal states that have agreed to reduce their harvests, fisheries officials said yesterday.
May 5, 2000
The governor of Delaware called on the National Marine Fisheries Service yesterday to place an immediate moratorium on the harvesting of horseshoe crabs within 30 miles of the mouth of the Delaware Bay. The request by Gov. Thomas R. Carper is the latest move in an East Coast battle over the strange and valuable creatures, which existed 100 million years before the dinosaurs and provide food for migrating shorebirds, bait for the growing conch and eel...
January 24, 1993
One weekday last September, off the mouth of the Choptank River, the flounder fishing was only a little short of incredible. In fact, had Keith Walters and I wanted to fish out the balance of the rising tide, we could have caught keepers until we ran out of minnows.Instead, we kept perhaps a dozen flounder from 15 to 23 inches and headed in.This year, the Department of Natural Resources is proposing to change the regulations for the recreational summer flounder fishery to ensure that quality fishing continues.
May 18, 1995
GOOD news for fishermen, according to this May 10 editorial that appeared on the Eastern Shore in the Easton Star Democrat:"Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an extension of the Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act. Some might ask, since the rockfish has come back to the point where Maryland's moratorium has been lifted, why the rockfish still needs this special protection. . ."There was much moaning and groaning when the moratorium was imposed. But the moratorium was necessary if the rockfish was not to disappear entirely from Chesapeake Bay and other Atlantic waters.