Bay Journal

January 2013 - Volume 22 - Number 10

Commission reduces menhaden harvest 20%

For the first time in its 70-year history, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission placed a limit on menhaden catches, capping a years-long and often contentious battle between commercial and recreational fishermen over how to manage the oily baitfish.

The commission voted to reduce by 20 percent the amount of menhaden fishermen could catch along the entire coast, amounting to a total allowable catch of 170,800 metric tons a year.

Sandy’s wake intensifies efforts to prepare for major storms here

Across the watershed, scientists and city officials are preparing for a rainy day — one that delivers cresting storm surges, whipping winds and so much water that it turns the streets into rivers. That is, a rainy day that delivers exactly what Hurricane Sandy gave much of New Jersey and New York City.

But for a slight turn in the super-storm's path, Sandy would have hammered the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia instead of New York and New Jersey, where it killed more than 100 people.

Report finds evidence of toxic contaminants impacting fish

There is evidence of chemical contaminants impacting fish throughout the Bay and its watershed. Just a few examples:

  • State figures show that 72 percent of the Bay's tidal waters have some level of toxics impairment, often based on contaminants in fish.
  • Male fish have been found with eggs in their testes in several areas of the Potomac and Susquehanna basins.
  • Tumors are frequently found in brown bullhead and other bottom dwellers in parts of the Bay.

Are cleanup costs merely subsidies for more growth?

Ostensibly we are paying to restore the Chesapeake, whose health has been deemed worth it by a majority of residents, and by federal and state policy.

But another way to look at it is that we are paying in large part to support and subsidize continued growth—a perpetually expanding economy and ever larger population that drives pollution and environmental degradation.

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