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Recreational fishing, conservation groups seek end to industrial menhaden fishing

A coalition of recreational fishing and conservation groups has asked 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 are urging the governor to take this action, stating that Atlantic menhaden are critical to the diets of gamefish like striped bass, bluefish, weakfish and more.

“Moving menhaden reduction fishing out of the bay will help to protect the health of the ecosystem and help grow Virginia’s outdoor recreational economy, which benefits all Virginians,” the letter concludes.

Organizations signing on to the letter include the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, the American Sportfishing Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association, The Billfish Foundation, ...

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