Menhaden vote could ripple along the Atlantic

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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