This opinion is special to the Mirror by Paul Ewell
Interesting story in the Eastern Shore Post written as an attempt to mislead the general population about the facts concerning the Menhaden Industry. I’ve tried to steer clear of politics and controversial issues on here as much as possible but I refuse to keep quiet about this particular issue.
This continual banter about the detrimental effects of Virginia’s Menhaden Industry is nothing more than an attack on the commercial fishing industry as a whole. Why we do we continue to hear so much about this particular industry?
It’s simply because it is the only commercial fishing segment in Virginia not controlled by the VMRC. Neither the VMRC nor the recreational fishing lobby can touch this industry and, quite frankly, it’s driving them crazy (think the Trump Effect for comparative purposes).
Consider this. The science community (yes, that’s right) continues to contend that the menhaden population is NOT overfished. This is, based on scientific evidence, not disputable. Of course, the recreational folks, many of whom are, in fact, engaged in and dependent on the commercial aspects of the recreational rockfish industry, are continually spouting off about the rockfish population. Rockfish were not overfished.
As any waterman with experience will tell you, generally (though not in every scenario) fish are cyclical. And, they didn’t read that in a book. You can’t replace decades of experience on the Chesapeake Bay with a book. Sorry. Rockfish are on a down cycle.
As a result (yet another turn of events), the crab population appears to be on the incline. Why? There are less rockfish to eat them, of course. Understanding that concept requires no book or decades of experience, just a little common sense.
So, as I read the story in the Post I had to chuckle a little. As you read that story, please remember it is an editorial; an opinion piece and remember those age-old words of wisdom…..opinions are like arseholes. Everyone has one.
Have a good day and to Omega Protein and all others engaged in the menhaden industry, fish on!