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Job Loss Fears from Administration's Menhaden Moratorium Threat

creaetive commons

REEDVILLE, Va. (AP) — For more than a century, generations of black fishermen on the Chesapeake Bay have caught a fish called Atlantic menhaden.

The fishermen now fear they could lose their jobs. Their employer, Omega Protein, exceeded catch limits last year, prompting the Trump Administration to threaten a moratorium in Virginia waters.

The fish is used these days to make fish oil pills and farm-raised salmon feed.

Regulators and environmentalists argue that harvesting the menhaden threatens the bay's ecosystem by taking away an important source of food for other fish.

The company says menhaden aren't overfished and that no damage has been done to the bay.

Don Rush is the News Director and Senior Producer of News and Public Affairs at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.