Menhaden Mania

The Atlantic Marine States Fisheries Commission voted to cut the catch of menhaden, which is considered among the most important fish in the Chesapeake Bay. Osprey, bald eagles and rockfish all feast on menhaden, and scientists worry that if levels continue to decline, it could have a devastating impact on ecosystems in both the Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The new rules will likely take effect in May 2013. The hardest hit business will likely be the Omega Protein Company, based in Reedsville, Virginia, just south of where the Potomac enters the Bay. The company took in about 80-percent of all the menhaden that were harvested last year.