skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

4 dead as severe storms hit Houston, TX; Election Protection Program eases access to voting information; surge in solar installations eases energy costs for Missourians; IN makes a splash for Safe Boating Week.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court rules funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is okay, election deniers hold key voting oversight positions in swing states, and North Carolina lawmakers vote to ban people from wearing masks in public.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Americans are buying up rubber ducks ahead of Memorial Day, Nebraskans who want residential solar have a new lifeline, seven community colleges are working to provide students with a better experience, and Mississippi's "Big Muddy" gets restoration help.

Fish dumps bring calls for more regulations on commercial menhaden industry

play audio
Play

Thursday, October 5, 2023   

With news of more large-scale fish dumps in coastal Louisiana waters in recent weeks, advocates are calling for more regulations on the menhaden industry.

Three large commercial fishing nets were dumped in waters off Cameron Parish in separate incidents between Sept. 11 and 14, resulting in an estimated 850,000 dead menhaden, also known as pogies, along with other species of bycatch. This comes one year after a similar incident when a pogie boat cut loose a net containing nearly 1 million fish and set it adrift in the same waters.

David Cresson, executive director of the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, said with locals again seeing large amounts of dead fish washed up on area beaches, the scale and effects of industrial harvest demand more regulation.

"They set these nets 10 or 12,000 times a year," Cresson explained. "They catch a billion pounds of pogies, tens of millions of pounds of bycatch. So, what we saw from September 11th to September 15, was just a tiny glimpse of what's really going on all year long."

Two foreign owned commercial operators, Daybrook Fisheries and Omega Protein, are responsible for the dumps, which state officials cited for failing to report the incident within the permitted time. Neither company responded to a request for comment.

Menhaden are small baitfish harvested for use in a number of products, but in the wild are the basic forage fish for many species. Larger fish following menhaden to feed are often caught in purse seine nets as bycatch. Cresson noted other finfish affected include Red Drum, Speckled Trout, Croakers and Jack Crevalle, but he added it does not stop there.

"It is a long list of species, not just fish by the way, marine mammals, birds, and plenty of other fish and wildlife are impacted by this style of harvest," Cresson outlined. "It's a very industrialized style of harvest that's not allowed anywhere else in the Gulf of Mexico as close to the shores as we allow it in Louisiana."

A quarter-mile buffer zone went into effect across the Louisiana coast this year, but it is the narrowest buffer among the nearby Gulf states. Advocates originally argued for a 1-mile buffer zone citing the need to protect habitat and spawning areas as pogie boats disturb the seafloor when fishing in shallow waters.

Chris Macaluso, director of the Center for Marine Fisheries at the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, said the 1-mile buffer zone makes sense.

"It's not just some random effort to penalize a company," Macaluso pointed out. "It's an effort to protect shallow water habitat and minimize the impact of dragging those nets along the bottom, of the boats going into those shallow waters, and also to protect the fish that are in that close-in range."

He stressed a scientifically-based catch limit is also needed to help ensure the long-term viability of the Louisiana fishery.

Disclosure: The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Environment, and Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
About 7.4 million adults take insulin, a hormone regulating glucose and used to treat diabetes patients. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

More than 1 million people in North Carolina are diabetic and they have become increasingly worried about the national shortage of insulin. The …


Environment

play sound

Missouri homes and businesses have installed enough solar energy to power 68,000 homes each year. A new report released by the Solar Energy …

Social Issues

play sound

Workforce watchers project the country could face critical worker shortages in many of the skilled trades in coming years. The Nebraska Winnebago …


If power grid operators cannot change the interconnection process in time, data show around 80% of the emissions reductions expected from the Inflation Reduction Act might not happen. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

A new rule from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could improve Virginia's electric grid transmission capacity. It requires utilities and …

Social Issues

play sound

Surrounded by states banning nearly all abortions, its legalization in New Mexico has made the state a top place to travel for the procedure and a …

As we near summer, tens of millions of Americans will take to our nation's waters to spend time with family and friends. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers are launching their boats to enjoy another season on the water. However, before jumping aboard, now is an ideal time to review safety plans …

Social Issues

play sound

This week, Ohio approved adult-use marijuana sales as part of a 2023 ballot measure, with sales anticipated to start mid-June. Ohioans age 21 and …

Social Issues

play sound

The Nevada state primary is coming up June 11 and one voting-rights group wants to make sure all Nevadans have the information they need to make their…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021