Virginia Governor Tim Kaine will make a decision soon that could dramatically impact the Chesapeake Bay and fish - like striped bass - that depend on a healthy coastal ecosystem.
On May 10th, Virginia reported to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) that it still had not taken action to implement a cap on the industrial harvest of menhaden in Chesapeake Bay. The cap was adopted by the multi-state commission in August 2005 and will prevent any increase in menhaden catch from the Bay while research is conducted into the ecological status of menhaden.
Menhaden are a principal source of food for striped bass and other predators suffering disease and malnutrition. The tiny filter-feeders also play a critical role in cleansing the Bay's waters.
Because the General Assembly earlier this year refused to pass legislation to implement the menhaden conservation measures, it is now up to Virginia Governor Tim Kaine to take executive action before the July 1 deadline.
To be in compliance with the ASMFC, Virginia must cap the industrial menhaden fishery in its waters of the Bay in 2006. The fishing season began May 1st. Maryland, the only other state bordering the Chesapeake, already prohibits industrial fishing for menhaden in its state waters.
Your action is needed now. Please contact Virginia's governor, Tim Kaine, and tell him that menhaden matter and ask him to take action to implement the cap and comply with the interstate menhaden management plan.
To email a pre-drafted letter written by NCMC and our allies in the "Menhaden Matter" coalition, click here.