FISHERIES

Recreational anglers ask Youngkin to close Chesapeake Bay menhaden fishery

BY: - July 6, 2022

A coalition of recreational fishing and conservation groups are asking Gov. Glenn Youngkin to close down a major portion of the Chesapeake Bay menhaden fishery “until science demonstrates” that it will not negatively affect the estuary’s ecosystem. In a June 14 letter, 21 groups including the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing […]

Youngkin administration warns feds new wind areas could hurt commercial fisheries

BY: - July 1, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration told federal officials that large areas of ocean off Virginia being considered as potential offshore wind sites could cause “millions of dollars of negative impact to Virginia’s commercial fishing industries.” “While supportive of the growth of the offshore wind industry and the opportunities for the commonwealth to provide critical support to […]

As feds eye more wind leases off Virginia, fishing industries fear losses

BY: - June 23, 2022

Today, two wind turbines turn off Virginia’s coast. But by the middle of the next decade, hundreds more may have joined them.  With a major push underway by President Joe Biden’s administration to develop 30 gigawatts of offshore wind as a way to reduce U.S. reliance on fossil fuels, federal officials are looking to dramatically […]

COMMENTARY

Who are the governor’s marine commission picks there to serve?

BY: - May 19, 2022

By Stephen Atkinson In a news release late Friday evening, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced appointments to various state boards, including the nine member Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the body that manages the commonwealth’s fisheries.     Of the governor’s four appointments to the VMRC, three represent commercial fishing interests from the Reedville area.   For the hundreds of […]

Gill lice detected for first time in Virginia trout

BY: - April 19, 2022

Native brook trout in Virginia appear to be out of harm’s way when it comes to the recent detection of a nasty aquatic parasite called gill lice in Southwest Virginia.  Biologists from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources sent samples of gill lice found on rainbow trout in Blue Springs Creek in Smyth and Wythe […]

The Chesapeake Bay is a loser in legislature’s political grudge match

BY: - February 18, 2022

By Stephen Atkinson The Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association, whose mission is to support recreational anglers, is displeased that our recreational angler representatives on the Virginia Marine Resource Commission Board have been caught up in dirty politics. Our most recent appointees who serve as associate board members, Christy Everett and Chris Newsome, were appointed by the […]

World’s largest oyster restoration completed on Piankatank River

BY: - November 30, 2021

‘Tis the season for champagne and oysters — and nowhere is more flush with the beloved bivalve than Virginia’s Piankatank River.  With more than 438 acres of restored oyster reef, the Piankatank is home to what Nature Conservancy Virginia Chesapeake Bay Program Director Andy Lacatell says is “the largest completed oyster restoration project on the […]

Nonprofit says federal program could be hurting endangered Atlantic sturgeon in James River

BY: - August 2, 2021

A national environmental nonprofit is threatening to sue the federal government over its failure to examine how a program that encourages the use of waterways for shipping affects endangered species, including Atlantic sturgeon in Virginia’s James River.  Increased vessel traffic on major U.S. rivers and coasts resulting from the America’s Marine Highway Program run by […]

Virginia’s oyster industry squeaks through the pandemic

BY: - June 23, 2021

Don’t break out the champagne to go with those oysters — at least not just yet.  Virginia’s oyster industry, the largest on the East Coast, has survived the pandemic, but growers and producers throughout the commonwealth’s eight oyster regions are still facing a long road to recovery, industry representatives said.  After decades of overharvesting throughout […]

Menhaden quota cut 10 percent as fisheries managers weigh ecosystem impacts

BY: - October 21, 2020

With a new fisheries regime in place that takes a broader ecosystem approach to management, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on Tuesday cut the menhaden quota for the next two years by 10 percent.  The decision reduces the allowable catch of menhaden from 216,000 metric tons to 194,400 metric tons in 2021 and 2022.  […]

Relief is coming for Virginia fisheries, although payments likely won’t be large

BY: - September 29, 2020

Fisheries managers are close to being able to roll out relief for Virginia’s hard-hit fishing industries, although a small federal allocation to the commonwealth means payments aren’t likely to be large, Virginia Marine Resources Commission officials said Tuesday morning.  “Because there was so little funding and such great economic damage, the idea of sort of […]

Menhaden decision marks a new era in Atlantic fisheries management

BY: - August 6, 2020

Once again, a little fish that has loomed large in Virginia politics is causing big waves. This time, though, the Atlantic menhaden is at the forefront of a change in how officials up and down the coast are looking at and managing fisheries.  The adoption Wednesday of an “ecological reference point” for menhaden by the […]