Omega Protein provides menhaden (forage fish) for fertilizer and livestock farming. So who needs those jobs?
In the wake of the government’s decision to reduce the menhaden harvest by 37%, the New York Times editorializes,
Omega Protein warned of a loss of jobs, but it is hard to feel sorry for a company that has dominated the market for so long. Like industrialized fishing interests all over the world, it has shown little sensitivity to the long-range effects of their practices.
How about the Times‘ insensitivity to job loss and unemployment in a lousy economy? They’re worried about fish?
About the menhaden, Omega Protein says,
- The most recent government stock assessments for Gulf menhaden in 2006 concluded that the fishery is not over-fished, nor is over-fishing occurring. The 2010 Atlantic stock assessment also showed the stock is not over-fished. For the most recent government stock assessments for Atlantic menhaden, click here.
- Menhaden are able to reproduce in large numbers. According to the ASMFC 2006 Assessment Report “fecundities range from 38,000 eggs for a small female to 362,000 eggs for a large female…”. This means that a relatively small number of females can replace the population in a very short period of time.
- Stock Assessments conducted by the National Marine Fisheries Service indicate that the typical menhaden catch is less than 10 percent of the Gulf and 20% of the Atlantic biomass, including all age groups in the population.
- Regional management bodies include the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
- Omega Protein is certified sustainable by Friend of the Sea, an organization dedicated to the preservation of marine resources.