Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Marine Resources Commission
Marine Resources Commission
[4 VAC 20 ‑ ]
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8/21/23  3:17 pm
Commenter: Rockbridge Bird Club

Regulation of gear type use in Virginia waters pertaining to depth of current purse seine nets

Dear Commissioner Green,

    I am writing on behalf of the Rockbridge Bird Club in order to encourage you to regulate the depth of purse seine nets used in the Chesapeake Bay.  It is extremely distressing to learn that the menhaden fishery has been running nets along the bottom of the Bay given the many damaging impacts of such a practice.   I do not think Virginians want the bay floor to be scraped and the resultant disruption and destruction of the ecosystem.  Thoughts of the bycatch makes me cringe in horror at the irresponsibility of allowing such unwarranted impacts to our marine wildlife.

    All of our wildlife is being negatively slammed by our many extraction industries.   There are so very many dramatic and depressing changes in our  Virginia wildlife populations that have occurred over the course of my six plus decades.   There is not really any time left to dither on taking strong actions.  

     Going to , the following is stated simply and boldly- “SUSTAINABLE FISHING: OUR LIVELIHOOD, YOUR HEALTH”.   Working in the menhaden fishery does provide jobs.  The products are beneficial to ourselves and our pets.  But any fishing that results in birds and other wildlife starving is not “sustainable”.   Greenwashing the industry does not change its outcome.   Surely the state is not taken in by the pledge’s of an extraction industry whose existence is based on maximizing profits.

     I encourage you to take the necessary actions to protect the wildlife of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.   The depletion of our fisheries only promises further heartache and pain in the future. 

    I urge that you think of a world without the predators that rely on a healthy marine ecosystem, and place all of your efforts into protecting and restoring Virginia’s marine ecosystems.

    Please place wildlife protections foremost in the regulation of purse-seine nets used in the menhaden fishery.    The best scenario would be to simply close the Bay to the menhaden fishery.  

    Thank you for considering my comments,

Laura Neale, Conservation Chair


CommentID: 219578