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November 08, 2012


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Admittedly I have not followed this issue very closely, but several things come to mind. Current harvest is 200K MT, but what is the long-term (~20 yr)trend in harvest? Most states that had coastal reduction fisheries have done away with them. How is harvest split between small scale fishermen, like pound netters, and the purse-seiners? Is the small scale harvest enough to supply bait to other fisheries?
With rockfish (and most long-lived fish), there is benefit to reducing fishing mortality on the largest individuals. Would that strategy benefit menhaden? And could regulation be tailored to reduce fishing mortality on the oldest individuals?
Omega Protein gets villified because they are a large company, but let's not forget that the fishermen and the guys working at the processing plants are our neighbors, supporting their families. Yes, the mantra is that a healthy fishery/Bay will create more jobs in the future, but tell the kid of a laid-off plant worker, "Don't worry, Christmas will be so much better ten years from now". Tricky stuff.

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