LANDOVER, Md., Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On Friday, December 14, 2012 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will vote on new regulations for the Atlantic menhaden fishery.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400 and the Maryland State Conference NAACP are working with appointed and elected officials, as well as with leaders in reduction and bait companies, toward policies that will protect this important resource and those whose jobs depend upon it.
Unfortunately, some environmental and other interest groups have advocated for cuts of 20%-50% which would result in job losses. One company in the industry, Omega Protein, is the largest employer of minorities in Northumberland County, Virginia.
Some of those pushing for severe cuts have said it is a "false choice" between conservation and jobs. This is not a false choice; it is a real decision. The extreme cuts they seek WILL destroy jobs.
Those who advocate job-killing levels of cuts claim they are acting in the name of science, but the ASMFC Menhaden Technical Committee determined that the results of the 2012 update stock assessment were not suitable to use as a reference for management decisions.
We do not argue that scientific uncertainty means no action should be taken, but instead argue that reasonable action should be taken.
Federal fisheries law instructs regulators to prevent overfishing and to rebuild overfished stocks while minimizing adverse economic impacts on fishing communities. We stand with the union members, minority employees, and working families from North Carolina to Maine who depend upon the menhaden bait and reduction fisheries. We believe it is possible and reasonable to enact policies that protect this resource without killing jobs.
We urge the ASMFC to adopt such a policy.
SOURCE The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 400