Native Americans in precolonial America called the fish ‘munnawhatteaug,’ which means ‘fertilizer’, and Menhaden are probably the fish that the indigenous tribes urged the Pilgrims to plant along with their corn as fertilizer. As Lee Tolliver reported this week in the Virginia Pilot, using menhaden for fertilizer will likely continue for some time.
HB150 and 151 were tabled in the Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources Chesapeake sub-committee.
Only Delegates Alfonso H. Lopez (D) and R. Lee Ware (R) voted to have the bills advanced.
HB150 was designed to turn the menhaden fishery over to the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, which oversees every other species in Virginia waters. Menhaden currently are the only fish species controlled by the General Assembly.
HB151 would have pushed the menhaden fishery outside of three miles along the Virginia coast, and out to one mile of the shoreline in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
Both bills were introduced by Virginia Beach’s Barry Knight, who has for nearly a decade sought change in the state’s menhaden fishery.
“You fight the the good fight,” Knight said, disappointed with the outcome when he thought going in the his bills had a better chance than in previous years. “I want to put this in the hands of the scientists.
“But they (Omega Protein of Reedville) had all their big lobbyists they paid to keep their purview. But I don’t back down from anybody and I’m going to represent my people and I’d do this again next year.”
Original Report by Lee Tolliver, Virginia Pilot Online
Lee Tolliver, 757-222-5844, firstname.lastname@example.org