Net tears have resulted in two large fish spills in Kiptopeke and Silver Beach. Last year, Omega Protein spilled more than 400,000 dead menhaden fish into Hampton Roads waters, something the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) criticized as an “environmental failure.”
The result of the latest spills has led Northampton County Board Chair Betsy Mapp and Administrator Charlie Kolakowski, along with Senator Lynwood Lewis, to set a meeting with the Virginia Marine Resources Commissioner Jamie Green.
The meeting is scheduled for August 19.
The Mirror asked Mr. Kolakowski what they plan to discuss with the VMRC:
We hope to hear the position of VMRC on the current state of the fishery as well as some other issues:
- Should the fishery be pushed away from the bay shores?
- Should the fishery be totally banned from the bay?
- What is the level of oversight given to the fishery operations? Level of inspections, etc…
- What is the process of amending the regulations?
- What is the process for notifying agencies of incidents? What is the process of notifying localities and residents?
- What are the required levels of cleanup efforts when there is an incident?
- What regulations are in place to prevent by-catch incidents?
- What impact is there on recreational fishing opportunities?
- What impact is there on other commercial fisheries?
This is probably not all the issues we will try to discuss and we cannot be certain they all will be discussed at this meeting. I’m sure this is just the start of an ongoing effort to try to protect the rights and quality of life of Northampton County residents, businesses, and visitors. We hope we are joined in our efforts by Accomack County and other Counties and Cities along the Bay.