Virginia Governor takes first steps towards bringing Virginia into compliance with ASMFC mandate

The following is a statement from Coastal Conservation Association Virginia – made up of recreational anglers dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of our marine resources in our coastal waters and the Chesapeake Bay – regarding Governor Tim Kaine’s action to seek compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission decision to limit the industrial harvest of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – CCA Virginia applauds Governor Tim Kaine’s action today in taking the first steps for implementing the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s cap to control the commercial harvest of menhaden within the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Governor Kaine’s proclamation today strikes a good balance between conservation and commercial interests. In addition to placing a cap on the industrial harvest of Atlantic menhaden, the Governor’s actions will also begin the process to conduct the scientific studies necessary to protect one of the Bay’s most valuable resources.

CCA Virginia has pledged to work with the Governor to secure ASMFC acceptance and approval of his plan for menhaden in management in Virginia.

“We have said all along we do not want a shutdown of the industry but proper management of this important fishery,” said David Nobles, CCA VA Vice President, “This is the first step in getting this fishery scientifically managed in order to ensure the health of many recreationally targeted species in our Bay.”

Today’s action was a result of multi-state cooperation between several Atlantic coastal states.

“This is a victory for the Bay and all its users,” said John Bello, Chairman of CCA Virginia. “We applaud Governor Kaine’s Secretary of Natural Resources Preston Bryant and his Deputy Jeff Corbin for their efforts to bring together the commercial, recreational and environmental interests necessary to reach this milestone in resource protection.”

“Today, in Virginia, we again demonstrate that protecting Virginia’s environment and supporting our economy can go hand in hand,” said Governor Kaine. “I am pleased today to announce a menhaden management proposal that will protect the health of the menhaden fishery, foster additional scientific research, and protect fishery-related jobs.”

Recreational anglers and bay environmentalists can celebrate, today’s action as historic, as for the first time ever there will be a limit on the commercial harvest of menhaden within the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The memorandum of understanding between the administration and the commercial industry will lead to increased participation in the research necessary to sustain this important fishery.