Omega Protein

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REEDVILLE, Va. (AP) — For more than a century, generations of black fishermen on the Chesapeake Bay have caught a fish called Atlantic menhaden.

The fishermen now fear they could lose their jobs. Their employer, Omega Protein, exceeded catch limits last year, prompting the Trump Administration to threaten a moratorium in Virginia waters.

The fish is used these days to make fish oil pills and farm-raised salmon feed.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Trump Administration is threatening to effectively ban a company that makes fish-oil pills from fishing in the Chesapeake Bay over concerns about overfishing. That company is Omega Protein.

Earlier this year, it exceeded harvest limits by more than 30 percent on an oily fish called Atlantic menhaden.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said Thursday that Virginia lawmakers must bring the state into compliance with harvest limits that were set by an interstate commission.

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(AP) Governors in nine states along the Atlantic coast are urging the Trump Administration to stop a company that makes fish-oil supplements from fishing in Virginia waters.

A letter sent Friday from those governors echoes concerns of fishing regulators who say Omega Protein defied harvest limits in the Chesapeake Bay.  

The firm catches a fish called Atlantic menhaden that's considered a vital link to the bay's food chain. Menhaden are food for striped bass, whales and other animals.

Omega Protein

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's governor is urging the Trump administration to stop a company that makes fish-oil supplements from fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.

Gov. Ralph Northam has asked U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to place a moratorium on the catching of menhaden in the bay.

Northam's letter, dated Wednesday, says the moratorium will protect a fish that's vital to the bay's food chain and serves as food for striped bass, dolphins and birds.

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - Tens of thousands of dead fish have washed up on Virginia's Eastern Shore after a net recently tore during menhaden harvesting.

Media outlets report that Omega Protein alerted the Virginia Marine Resources Commission of the tear on Oct. 7. The fish began washing ashore over the weekend. The company estimates it lost about 75,000 fish.

Commission spokeswoman Laurie Naismith says Omega mobilized a cleanup crew, which worked to clean up the dead fish at the company's cost.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia legislators are set to consider a 20 percent cut in the catch of menhaden, an oily fish used in dietary supplements, animal feed and other purposes.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted last month in Baltimore to reduce the commercial catch of the pudgy fish. A House of Delegates subcommittee is scheduled to review that decision on Thursday.

The Omega Protein plant in Reedville lands about 80 percent of the catch and employs about 300. The company had supported an overall 10 percent cut.