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March 19, 2011
There's nothing like a stroll through the halls of Annapolis to make you wonder how we've managed to survive this long. Legislativus horribilis is a creature with no backbone or vision. It is most often seen with a single moistened digit extended skyward to check for wind patterns. Often found running in circles or huddled in groups, it emits an unpleasant whining sound that ceases only at midnight on the 90 t h day of its lifecycle. Last week the beast was in full rut. Legislativus horribilis sided with Virginia over Maryland interests, dissed its natural resources law enforcement community and contemplated pilfering legacy money earmarked for land acquisition to plug holes elsewhere.
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FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | October 21, 2013
A group of Maryland watermen has filed suit seeking to overturn the state's catch limit on menhaden, arguing that it violates state and federal law and that the forage fish is not in need of conservation. In a filing Friday in Dorchester County Circuit Court, two founding members of the Harvesters Land and Sea Coalition ask for a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing catch rules on menhaden imposed this year. A spokesman for the group contends in a statement that Maryland's catch limit is unscientific and unfair, noting that 80 percent of all the menhaden allowed to be caught along the Atlantic coast would go to one company, Omega Protein in Reedville, Va. The state Department of Natural Resources released a statement Monday saying Maryland's menhaden limits are legal, scientifically supported and required under federal law to reduce harvest pressure.
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SPORTS
By Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2010
Protecting menhaden, the small fish that nourishes striped bass and other species, moved a bit closer to reality Wednesday when East Coast fisheries managers unanimously agreed to review the science that forms the foundation of regulations. Recreational anglers and conservation groups applauded the vote by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to prepare more conservative benchmarks for menhaden that would lead to greater abundance. They had been frustrated by a nine-year process that became mired in interstate politics and intense lobbying by commercial interests.
NEWS
By Beau Beasley | January 8, 2013
At a historic meeting in Baltimore recently, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), the fisheries management body representing 15 states along the Eastern Seaboard, resolved to cap the harvest of menhaden at 20 percent less than the average landings of 2009-2011. On hand at the meeting were menhaden industry lobbyists and executives as well as deck hands, recreational anglers, state marine resource officials and conservationists - a dizzying array of stakeholders, each presenting arguments bolstered by evidence designed to make their opponents seem unreasonable.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | May 15, 2012
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler says he's considering going to court if the interstate panel that regulates Atlantic coast fishing for menhaden doesn't cut back enough the catch of a Virginia-based fleet that takes the lion's share of the forage fish. Speaking at a Chesapeake Bay scientific symposium in Baltimore on Monday, Gansler said he was "working with" the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as it ponders tightening harvest limits on menhaden. Called by some "the most important fish in the sea," menhaden are a food source for many other fish and wildlife, including ospreys and striped bass, Maryland's state fish.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | October 29, 2012
Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Sandy has forced the cancellation of a public hearing Tuesday on a controversial proposal to curtail the coastwide catch of Atlantic menhaden. Fisheries officials decided Monday that predicted storm condtions precluded going ahead with a hearing from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Easton Armory. The Tuesday session was one of two forums in Maryland - and one of a series along the Atlantic coast - to take public comment on a proposal to reduce the catch of menhaden by up to 50 percent.  The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission , which regulates near-shore fishing, is slated to decide the issue in mid-December in Baltimore.  Conservationists and others are urging a sharp reduction in catch, while cuts are opposed by Omega Protein , which operates a large menhaden fishing fleet out of Virginia.  Commercial watermen in Maryland also oppose cuts, arguing that menhaden are essential as bait for the crabbing industry.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | October 21, 2013
A group of Maryland watermen has filed suit seeking to overturn the state's catch limit on menhaden, arguing that it violates state and federal law and that the forage fish is not in need of conservation. In a filing Friday in Dorchester County Circuit Court, two founding members of the Harvesters Land and Sea Coalition ask for a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing catch rules on menhaden imposed this year. A spokesman for the group contends in a statement that Maryland's catch limit is unscientific and unfair, noting that 80 percent of all the menhaden allowed to be caught along the Atlantic coast would go to one company, Omega Protein in Reedville, Va. The state Department of Natural Resources released a statement Monday saying Maryland's menhaden limits are legal, scientifically supported and required under federal law to reduce harvest pressure.
NEWS
By Rona Kobell and Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF | November 8, 2004
Maryland environmentalists and recreational anglers are urging fisheries regulators to rein in a Virginia processing plant that is scooping millions of menhaden from the Chesapeake Bay. The Marylanders say Omega Protein is taking so many of the oily little filter-feeders out of the bay for its products that rockfish, which usually feed on menhaden, are starving to death. They are hoping that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which meets tomorrow in New Hampshire to take up the matter, will place catch limits on the company.
SPORTS
July 3, 2005
SO NEAR YET so far. The quasi-government body charged with protecting fish along the East Coast will vote next month on whether to take the first step in saving one of the Chesapeake Bay's most important residents. Or it may do nothing. "This represents the worst of public service because they will not take a stand on the hard questions," fumed Pete Abbott of Annapolis, one of the 200 or so recreational and commercial fishermen who packed a hearing last Wednesday night to urge the folks with power to do something.
SPORTS
By Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2010
Ten ugly truths to ponder as you take part in the spring striped bass fishing season — enjoy it while it lasts. Fact: In 2001, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved management objectives and benchmarks to protect the Atlantic menhaden, a small fish that lives in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic Coast that filters water and is a major food source for striped bass and other important fish and bird species....
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2012
Fishermen and conservationists sparred Thursday over how much to cut back the commercial catch of Atlantic menhaden along the East Coast to rebuild an ecologically and economically important fish population. Members of conservation and recreational fishing groups called for a reduction of 25 percent to 50 percent in the commercial harvest of menhaden, pointing to scientists' warnings that overfishing was depressing their number to near-historic lows. "For decades now, people have been taking too many of these fish, and now it's time to pay back," said Ken Hastings of Mechanicsville.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | October 29, 2012
Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Sandy has forced the cancellation of a public hearing Tuesday on a controversial proposal to curtail the coastwide catch of Atlantic menhaden. Fisheries officials decided Monday that predicted storm condtions precluded going ahead with a hearing from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Easton Armory. The Tuesday session was one of two forums in Maryland - and one of a series along the Atlantic coast - to take public comment on a proposal to reduce the catch of menhaden by up to 50 percent.  The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission , which regulates near-shore fishing, is slated to decide the issue in mid-December in Baltimore.  Conservationists and others are urging a sharp reduction in catch, while cuts are opposed by Omega Protein , which operates a large menhaden fishing fleet out of Virginia.  Commercial watermen in Maryland also oppose cuts, arguing that menhaden are essential as bait for the crabbing industry.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | May 15, 2012
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler says he's considering going to court if the interstate panel that regulates Atlantic coast fishing for menhaden doesn't cut back enough the catch of a Virginia-based fleet that takes the lion's share of the forage fish. Speaking at a Chesapeake Bay scientific symposium in Baltimore on Monday, Gansler said he was "working with" the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission as it ponders tightening harvest limits on menhaden. Called by some "the most important fish in the sea," menhaden are a food source for many other fish and wildlife, including ospreys and striped bass, Maryland's state fish.
NEWS
November 14, 2011
Two important decisions emerged from the recent meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that should have a positive impact on the Chesapeake Bay's striped bass (rockfish) industry. The first was a decision not to restrict the harvest of striped bass, the other to significantly curb the Atlantic menhaden catch. How could a decision to leave alone rockfish, a species highly prized by commercial fishermen and recreational anglers alike, while restricting the harvest of the lowly menhaden, an oily little fish that no self-respecting hook-and-line fisherman would use for anything other than bait, be a win for conservationists and the fishing industry?
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | October 30, 2011
A big fight is brewing over a little fish - a fish that no one wants to eat but that many regard as the most important in the sea. Catch restrictions loom on menhaden, which is too unsavory to grace a dinner plate but much sought by commercial fishermen. They catch them in staggering numbers to be ground into animal feed, to extract their heart-healthy oils for humans and to be used as bait to catch other fish, including Maryland's iconic blue crabs. Menhaden also play a vital role in the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystem, feeding on plankton and serving themselves as food for many of the fish, birds and animals that people do eat or care about.
NEWS
By Wayne T. Gilchrest | March 21, 2011
Few experiences compare to boating in the Chesapeake Bay at dawn, gliding among blue herons and submerged oak trees. As a nature lover and conservationist, I often take young students to the Chesapeake to teach them about ocean ecology. Lately, these nascent outdoorsmen have been noticing disturbances in the complex chain of marine life that sustains the ocean and its estuaries. An alarming 70 percent of adult striped bass sampled in the Chesapeake Bay are infected with a serious condition called mycobacteriosis, and these ailing fish are migrating from their nursery in the bay all along the Atlantic Coast.
FEATURES
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2012
Fishermen and conservationists sparred Thursday over how much to cut back the commercial catch of Atlantic menhaden along the East Coast to rebuild an ecologically and economically important fish population. Members of conservation and recreational fishing groups called for a reduction of 25 percent to 50 percent in the commercial harvest of menhaden, pointing to scientists' warnings that overfishing was depressing their number to near-historic lows. "For decades now, people have been taking too many of these fish, and now it's time to pay back," said Ken Hastings of Mechanicsville.
SPORTS
By Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2010
It doesn't take a crystal ball filled with filthy Chesapeake Bay water to realize that when it comes to protecting menhaden, the folks charged with doing so aren't likely to do a blessed thing in time for the 2011 commercial fishing season. Just as sure as Omega Protein has trawlers and huge nets to scoop up menhaden — a keystone bay species and the favored food of striped bass — the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is poised to do absolutely nothing during Tuesday's 90-minute meeting despite a vote to do something almost three months ago. That's right.
SPORTS
March 19, 2011
There's nothing like a stroll through the halls of Annapolis to make you wonder how we've managed to survive this long. Legislativus horribilis is a creature with no backbone or vision. It is most often seen with a single moistened digit extended skyward to check for wind patterns. Often found running in circles or huddled in groups, it emits an unpleasant whining sound that ceases only at midnight on the 90 t h day of its lifecycle. Last week the beast was in full rut. Legislativus horribilis sided with Virginia over Maryland interests, dissed its natural resources law enforcement community and contemplated pilfering legacy money earmarked for land acquisition to plug holes elsewhere.
SPORTS
By Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2010
It doesn't take a crystal ball filled with filthy Chesapeake Bay water to realize that when it comes to protecting menhaden, the folks charged with doing so aren't likely to do a blessed thing in time for the 2011 commercial fishing season. Just as sure as Omega Protein has trawlers and huge nets to scoop up menhaden — a keystone bay species and the favored food of striped bass — the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is poised to do absolutely nothing during Tuesday's 90-minute meeting despite a vote to do something almost three months ago. That's right.
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