Written by Jen Finn
December 14, 2012
On Friday, an interstate regulatory commission is expected to decide the fate of what some consider the biggest little fish in the sea — the Atlantic menhaden.
That decision will ripple through the Chesapeake Bay and up and down the Eastern seaboard. It will affect small business owners and recreational anglers, conservationists and tourism groups, Virginia lawmakers and those who earn their living from what is by weight the largest fishery on the East Coast.
At issue is whether this oily, bony forage fish will for the first time be protected by a coast-wide target catch limit in a bid to rebuild a population that studies show has plummeted about 90 percent in the last 25 years.
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