Regulators to vote on menhaden catch limits

12/13/2012 7:30 AM
By Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) — Fisheries regulators plan to vote Friday on regulating the catch of menhaden, an oily fish prized for use in dietary supplements, cosmetics and animal feed.

The vote is a key milestone in the decades old battle over the fish. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will decide how much to cut the harvest and how to allocate the remaining catch.

Environmentalists, scientists and recreational fishermen have lobbied for tough catch limits. They say menhaden are key food source for striped bass and the filter feeders also improve water quality in areas such as the Chesapeake Bay.

But any cuts would affect an Omega Protein processing plant in Reedville, Va., which lands about 80 percent of the catch and employs about 300 workers.

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