The Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources on Tuesday voted down a request from Jackson County supervisors to restrict menhaden, or pogy fishing, to one mile offshore. It's an issue that involved both science and politics.
Omega Protein is the Moss Point company that fishes for menhaden, and has for decades. Its annual economic impact is more than $50 million, including a $12 million payroll. Moss Point's mayor says the supervisors' request for more fishing restrictions was unwarranted.
"Although the law gives them that authority to make that request to you, I think it should be made based on data. Based on something that somebody has decided, through study, that that's a legitimate request," Mayor Broomfield told the CMR.
F.J. Eicke represents the Coastal Conservation Association, which lobbied for the one mile fishing limit.
"Even though the company self imposes a half mile, and as I said, self imposed is not a regulation. It's self imposed. It could be broken at any time," he said.